Eta continues to move northeast through the southern Caribbean Sea at 7 mph as a weak tropical depression. Maximum sustained winds are at 35 mph. The National Hurricane Center expects the storm to regain tropical storm strength as it approaches south central Cuba on Sunday morning. The storm is then expected to cross over central Cuba before making a sharp northwesterly turn over the Florida Straits toward the Gulf of Mexico as a moderate tropical storm.
Models remain in agreement about Eta remaining a tropical storm for the next five days. South Florida is in the NHC’s three-day forecast cone. The National Weather Service expects heavy rainfall over our region this weekend through the early part of next week. There is a high risk of flooding due to heavy ground saturation from recent storms. Beach erosion is also a possibility.
In Hollywood, the Department of Public Utilities' storm preparation protocols includes testing and refueling the 14 auxiliary pumps and 7 permanent pumping stations in east Hollywood's low-lying neighborhoods. Crews completed that task yesterday and indicate all pumps are operational. Crews are continuing to remove debris from 30-50 storm grates a day and are vacuuming out 8-10 drainage basins daily.
Public Works crews have also been on the job picking up loose debris and have deployed barricades and signage in Hollywood's lowest-lying areas in preparation for tropical weather. They are asking for resident's cooperation in waiting to trim trees and landscaping until after Eta passes. With gusty winds, landscaping debris can go airborne and can also clog auxiliary pumps hindering flood mitigation efforts. They are also asking property owners to secure sanitation collection carts.
The Hollywood Police Department and Hollywood Fire Rescue are ready to deploy high-profile vehicles when and where they are needed. City staff is activated and on an “On-Call” status in preparation for working through Eta.
Motorists are reminded to use caution, avoid traveling on flooded streets and to not drive around barricades. Health officials are also reminding the public to prohibit children from play in flood waters.
City officials urge residents to monitor trusted news providers like the National Weather Service Miami and the National Hurricane Center for the latest information.