Hurricane Wilma slammed into the southwest coast of Florida at maximum sustained winds of 110 mph this morning, bringing flooding and power outages. The hurricane is forecasted to continue northeastward into early Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.
In Monroe County, US-1 this morning was closed to all vehicles due to flooding and debris, according to Florida Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Skyway Bridge on I-275 has recently been reopened, but remains closed to high-profile vehicles because of high wind gusts.
FEMA announced that in preparation for Wilma, the following measures have been taken:
- 50 truckloads of ice, 50 truckloads of water and five truckloads of meals are positioned at Homestead Air Force Base
- 100 truckloads of ice, 100 truckloads of water, and 25 truckloads of meals are positioned at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station
- two Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and one Incident Support Team have been deployed to Orlando
- two additional Urban Search and Rescue teams are ready ay their Florida home bases
- six Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are deployed in Orlando
- six Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are alert at their home bases
Despite the disruption caused by Wilma, it looks as if retail gas and diesel users will avoid the price spikes seen after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In fact, today crude oil prices fell below the $60 level as the hurricane missed key Gulf Coast oil production and refining facilities, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Yesterday Florida Governor Jeb Bush has declared 14 counties disaster areas. The New York Times today reported that 2.5 million people across the state have lost electrical power.
To view the archive of FleetOwner’s ongoing hurricane news coverage, go to www.fleetowner.com/katrina.