Here’s how Palm Beach Gardens is preparing for Hurricane Matthew’s impact

Shoppers grab plywood at the Home Depot on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach in preparation for Hurricane Matthew Tuesday, October 4, 2016.  (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Shoppers grab plywood at the Home Depot on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach in preparation for Hurricane Matthew Tuesday, October 4, 2016. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach Gardens‘ staff is bracing for the impact of Hurricane Matthew’s high winds later this week.

Mayor Marcie Tinsley on Tuesday afternoon said she declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm. Thursday night’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. Each department is gearing up for the storm, she said.

“Obviously, we take this day by day, hour by hour,” Tinsley said. “We are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

That was before the National Weather Service released its 5 p.m. briefing showing the track of the storm farther west, closer to Florida than in earlier models. Here’s what each department is doing to prepare:

Fire Rescue – All stations have been stocked with hurricane supplies and equipment, and all spare apparatus has been fueled. All personnel have been told to prepare their homes and get ready to return to duty.

Police – Police are conducting extra patrols at gas stations, banks, grocery stores and home improvement stores.

Recreation – Recreation is securing all facilities and preparing the family safe area for employees who are assigned to work the storm. The Riverside Youth Enrichment Center and all recreation facilities remain open for now.

If Palm Beach County Schools close, the Riverside Youth Enrichment Center will close, too. It will still be open for children (ages 1-14) of city employees who are on duty.

If the emergency operations center activates, all facilities will close and the Burns Road Recreation Center will open the employee family safe area.

Planning & Zoning – Staff is contacting commercial property owners/managers to have them remove or properly secure outdoor furniture, shade structures, art in public places and any other physical structures and amenities required to be removed.

Building – Staff is traversing the city to make sure job sites are secured and cleaned up. All contractors are being contacted for status updates on ongoing projects. Inspectors for the rest of the week are to be determined, depending on the storm.

Solid Waste – The Solid Waste Authority will likely close facilities Thursday because of high winds and rain. If this happens, residential garbage won’t be collected. SWA will provide regular updates to municipalities. The landfill closure is only expected to be one day.

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