SITUATION:  As of 1100 EDT, Tropical Storm Irma was located about 65 miles east of Tallahassee.  Irma is now downgraded to a Tropical Storm. and is currently moving north-northwest at approximately 17 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH, a Category 3 hurricane.  The minimum central pressure is 28.80″.

The only watches or warnings that are still in effect is the Tropical Storm Warning for Pasco County and should be cancelled later today.  There are Flood Warnings for some area rivers in Hardee, Desoto, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.  Tropical Storm Irma is expected to continue on its current path into southern Georgia this afternoon and northern Alabama by tomorrow morning.

Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/061448.shtml

Hurricane Irma Graphical Forecast Track: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145453.shtml?cone#contents

ACTIONS:  Many West Central Florida Section counties have shelters open at this time.  Some ARES groups have been given permission to stand down..  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are requested to continue to closely monitor the National Hurricane Center latest advisories on Tropical Storm Irma and also on the status of Hurricane Jose, whose path is not totally certain as of yet.  ARES Groups in several WCF Section counties have put in request into State of Florida Constellation system for mutual aid after the passage of Tropical Storm Irma.  Amateur Radio operators that are available and have stood down should be prepared to offer assistance, if requested to do so.  However, please do not self-activate as any mutual aid request must come through the State of Florida Constellation system from the local EOC that is requesting assistance for their ARES or ACS group.  Please stay in touch with your local ARES or ACS leadership in case your local ARES group is invited to provide mutual aid in another county.

The Regional SKYWARN Net that was being held on the NI4CE Repeater System closed at approximately 0200, once the severe weather threat have alleviated.  The State of Florida SARNet is currently available for coordination and to help communicate between the county EOC’s and the State EOC and to provide assistance to amateur radio operators in other ways, time permitting.  A conference call is scheduled this afternoon between the Section Emergency Coordinator and the ten ARES Emergency Coordinators.  There will also be a Section ARES Net in the normal time slot this evening at 1930, to assess status and any unmet needs.

Right now the priority is tactical shelter communications that are still open and any EOC Communications, as we are currently in post-storm phase of operations.  Any health and welfare inquiries should go through the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” website.  The link to the ARRL Press Release on this is http://www.arrl.org/news/hurricane-irma-amateur-radio-emergency-and-priority-traffic-is-moving-health-welfare-traffic-queued.  Also the ARRL has release a press release concerning frequency usage during the Hurricane Irma response.  The link to that ARRL press release is http://www.arrl.org/news/operating-procedures-during-hurricane-irma.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN for Hurricane Irma will be issued tomorrow at 1100 EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.