Tag Archives: I-4

Ray Rush Coming to Aquatica Orlando in 2018

A brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in spring 2018. Ray Rush promises to be a fully-loaded water adventure which will combine three unique slide elements, never before seen at Aquatica, into one action-packed attraction the entire family can enjoy together.

Rendering of Ray Rush, a brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica Orlando, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in spring 2018.

At nearly 60 feet tall, Ray Rush is where family and friends can take on three exciting thrills as they slide, splash and soar like never before. First, riders will be launched at 33 feet per second with water jets designed to propel rafts into the first of several enclosed tube sections. Next, riders will swirl into a colossal translucent sphere which spins the raft around the slide walls before entering another enclosed tube section. Finally, riders will drop into an open-air halfpipe that resembles the shape of a manta ray. Rafts will soar back and forth on the wings of the manta before entering the final enclosed tube section that ends with a splash.

“Ray Rush will offer a ride experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else in Florida. Aquatica will be the first waterpark in the state to combine these three unique elements into one attraction,” said Cathy Valeriano, Aquatica Orlando vice president. “Ray Rush is the perfect addition to our attraction portfolio, complementing what is already one of the most family-friendly waterslide lineups in Orlando.”

Ray Rush will have a height requirement of 42″ to appeal to families with children and will accommodate up to four riders per raft. The new slide will be located on the north side of the park next to Walkabout Waters.

In order to make way for the new attraction, HooRoo Run will close permanently on October 31, 2017. To accommodate construction, Walhalla Wave will temporarily close on this date and re-open in spring 2018 alongside Ray Rush. For a limited-time, Aquatica Pass Members will receive a one-time Quick Queue to ride both HooRoo Run and Walhalla Wave on select days in October before construction begins in November.

The best way to experience Aquatica is with an Aquatica Orlando Annual Pass. For a limited-time, Florida residents can purchase an Aquatica Orlando Annual Pass for only $10 per month with EZpay. Aquatica Pass Members enjoy unlimited admission and free parking as well as discounts and the opportunity to be among the first to ride Ray Rush when it opens in spring 2018. For more information, visit AquaticaOrlando.com.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Biketoberfest is On, Pass it On!

Biketoberfest® officially kicks off with a press conference Thursday, October 19, at 10 a.m. at Daytona International Speedway. The event is open to the public. Held on the Harley-Davidson Thunder Alley Stage next to the FPL Solar Pavilion in the Midway, this fan-friendly area is also a major hub of Biketoberfest® activity.

The rally tradition will continue along Main Street, Riverfront Park and Midtown in Daytona Beach, as well as at Destination Daytona and U.S. Hwy 1 in Ormond Beach, and throughout Volusia County in nearby New Smyrna Beach and DeLand.


Book Now! Find Your Perfect Room in Daytona Beach!


At the Official Biketoberfest® Welcome Center on Beach Street, staff will be handing out free (while supplies last) 25th Anniversary collectible Official Biketoberfest® posters, pocket guides and pins, and encouraging visitors to mark their home town on world maps. To pre-register for a 25th Anniversary pin, visit Biketoberfest.org.

Signature Events:

  • Pre-Biketoberfest® events: Daytona Blues Festival October 6-8 and Fuel-Up Concert at Destination Daytona, October 14
  • Free (while supplies last) Official Biketoberfest® 25th Anniversary Collectible poker chips, posters, pins and pocket guides at the Official Biketoberfest® Welcome Center on Beach Street, October 19-22
  • Main Street, Riverfront and Midtown Street Festivals, October 19-22
  • Live music at legendary Iron Horse Saloon/US1 in Ormond Beach, October 19-22
  • Free Biketoberfest® Concert with Journey Tribute band Don’t Stop Believin’ at Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club, October 19
  • Beach and Bikes Historical Exhibit at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, October 20-22
  • Old Speed Show at New Smyrna Speedway, October 21
  • 34th Annual Race of Champions Championship Cup Series Motorcycle Race and American Sportbike Racing Association Motorcycle Race at Daytona International Speedway, October 21-22, and Hot Leathers Fashion Show, October 21

New! 25th Anniversary Poker Chip
“New this year is a 25th anniversary poker chip from Daytona Beach Racing & Card Club,” said Kay Galloway, director of marketing and design for the CVB. “The card club is holding a special event on opening day October 19 with vendors and special give-aways.” Rally goers can pick up a free collectible poker chip at the Welcome Center on Beach Street or one of the CVB’s two Visitor Centers located at Daytona International Speedway and Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona HarleyDavidson at Destination Daytona Complex.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Eastbound I-4 in Downtown Orlando Closing at Night, Detours Outlined

The Florida Department of Transportation is temporarily closing at night eastbound I-4 between Gore Street and Amelia Street. The closure will occur from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday, October 2, and Tuesday, October 3. Law enforcement officers will monitor each signaled intersection on the detour route of Garland Avenue between South Street and Colonial Drive (State Road [S.R.] 50) to promote traffic flow.

In addition, the westbound and eastbound S.R. 408 exit ramps to eastbound I-4, the eastbound I-4 exit ramp to Amelia Street and eastbound I-4 entrance ramp from Anderson Street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on October 1–3. The closures are necessary to remove two overhead sign structures over I-4.

Rolling roadblocks on westbound I-4 ( from Maitland Boulevard (S.R. 414) to Central Boulevard will occur between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. on October 2–3 to aid in the removal of the sign structures.

Traveling Eastbound on I-4:

  • Exit eastbound I-4 at Exit 82B onto South Street.
  • Continue northbound on Garland Avenue.
  • Enter eastbound I-4 from Garland Avenue just beyond Amelia Street.

Traveling Eastbound on S.R. 408:

  • Exit eastbound S.R. 408 at Exit 10C.
  • Keep right and merge onto Lucerne Circle.
  • Turn right onto Orange Avenue, which becomes Rosalind Avenue.
  • Continue on Rosalind Avenue, which becomes Magnolia Avenue.
  • Enter eastbound I-4 from Magnolia Avenue.

Traveling Westbound on S.R. 408:

  • Exit westbound S.R. 408 at Exit 11A.
  • At end of ramp, turn left onto South Street.
  • Turn right onto Garland Avenue.
  • Enter eastbound I-4 from Garland Avenue just beyond Amelia Street.

Traveling on Westbound Anderson Street to Eastbound I-4:

  • Turn right onto Division Avenue.
  • Turn right onto South Street.
  • Turn left onto Garland Avenue.
  • Enter eastbound I-4 from Garland Avenue just beyond Amelia Street.

Traveling on Eastbound Anderson Street to Eastbound I-4:

  • Turn left onto Rosalind Avenue.
  • Turn left onto South Street.
  • Turn right onto Garland Avenue.
  • Enter eastbound I-4 from Garland Avenue just beyond Amelia Street.

For more I-4 construction information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Orlando Moonlights as Halloween Vacation Capital

This fall, Halloween fanatics flock to Orlando as the ultimate Halloween Vacation Capital. The destination, recently named AAA’s top destination for fall travel and known for immersive experiences, brings its creativity to the holiday with a host of highly themed events and attractions; hotel packages; and even the largest horror convention in the nation.

Including both family-friendly frights and extreme adult scares, over 10 weeks of Halloween festivities take place throughout the destination, including at the world-famous theme parks. October kicks off the height of the season, although some of the festivities started as early as August 25 and extend as late as November 4.

Visit Orlando, Orlando’s official visitor resource, has created a special web page to help travelers plan a ghoulish getaway. Find a few haunted highlights below, or the full frightful list at VisitOrlando.com/Halloween, and follow #OrlandoHalloween for real-time updates.

read more…


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

I-4 Construction Requires Long Term Street Closure in Orlando

Hughey Avenue from Church Street to South Street in Orlando is closing for approximately one year beginning the night of Sunday, October 1.

The closure will provide a safe work zone for I-4 Ultimate crews to construct the new westbound I-4 exit ramp to State Road (S.R.) 408.

The intersections of Church Street and South Street will remain open for vehicles and pedestrians to travel across Hughey Avenue. A covered pedestrian walkway will be constructed on Church Street to allow pedestrians to safely cross through the construction area.

For motorists heading south on Hughey Avenue from Colonial Drive (S.R. 50), the detour around this closure will be:

  • Right onto Central Boulevard
  • Left onto Division Avenue
  • Left onto South Street

Access will be limited on Hughey Avenue from Central Boulevard to Church Street during events at the Amway Center.


For more I-4 construction information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Discover Even More Magic This Holiday Season at Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is the place to be this holiday season as theme parks and resort hotels sparkle with jolly decorations that bring the spirit of the season to life. Here’s a sampling of the holiday fun in store for guests:

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guests can get wrapped up in a Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Nov. 9-Dec. 31, with exciting new holiday happenings around the park and the return of the nighttime projection and fireworks show “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”

  • NEW! Sunset Seasons Greetings – This new holiday experience features spectacular projections of Mickey, Minnie and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories as a snowy Sunset Boulevard twinkles with stunning holiday decorations. Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – a giant pile of Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house and a frozen winter wonderland! A frosty summer-loving snowman might even make an appearance to share his holiday wish! This fantastic and heartwarming experience runs continuously throughout the night.
  • NEW! Enhanced holiday décor around Echo Lake – Extra-large ornaments, colorful garlands and a giant Christmas tree centered on the water will make Echo Lake the merriest of places this holiday season. Even Dinosaur Gertie will be dressed for the occasion with a dino-sized Santa hat.
  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Returns – The hit holiday show returns Nov. 9 sending beloved Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a dazzling, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for guests – capped by a special message from Santa himself.
  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Dessert Party – Guests can wrap up their jolly holiday evenings with reserved viewing of the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime spectacular. The nightly party includes holiday-inspired snacks, delicious desserts, wine, beer, and specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A surprise Disney character will also join the fun, posing for pictures and signing autographs. This fun-filled special event is offered Nov. 9-Dec. 30, 2017.
  • A new friend joins the cast of ‘For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration’ – Holiday fun continues at the Hyperion Theater as Anna, Elsa and Kristoff welcome Olaf to this popular sing-along celebration. Just for the holidays the show will include all-new songs from Disney’s new animated short “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”
  • Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine – Meet Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald and Goofy for lunch and dinner celebrations centered on seasonal deliciousness. From Nov. 6-Jan. 7, the mouse-with-the-mostest will deck the halls for a banquet filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season!
  • Santa Claus returns to the Once Upon a Time shop Nov. 9-Dec. 24 – The beautiful vintage setting of the Once Upon a Time shop recalls bygone days of Santa’s visits to great department stores across the country. Santa will be at the shop daily to greet guests and listen to holiday wishes. Santa Goofy will step in Dec. 25-Dec. 31 after Old Saint Nick returns to the North Pole.

read more…


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Updated I-4 Construction Lane and Ramp Closures in Orlando

The Florida Department of Transportation reports the following updated I-4 construction lane and ramp closures in the Orlando metro area:

  • Intermittent nightly road closure on NB/SB Division Avenue from SR-408 to Gore Street
    September 05 – September 19
    Sunday – Friday 10 PM – 6 AM
  • Intermittent nightly lane closure on NB S. Orange Avenue from W Lucerne Circle to Anderson Street: 2 left lanes closed.
    September 14 – September 16
    10 PM – 6 AM
  • Intermittent nightly lane closure on EB I-4 from John Young Parkway to Ivanhoe Boulevard: 2 left lanes closed. September 01 – October 01
    Sunday – Friday 10:30 PM – 6:30 AM
  • Intermittent nightly ramp closure on EB I-4 to SR-423/Lee Road.
    September 05 – September 19
    Everyday 10 PM – 5 AM
  • Intermittent nightly ramp closure on EB I-4 from SR-423/Lee Road.
    September 14 – September 26
    Sunday – Friday 10 PM – 5 AM
  • Intermittent nightly ramp closure on EB I-4 from Fairbanks Avenue.
    September 14 – September 26
    Everyday 10 PM – 5 AM
  • Intermittent nightly ramp closure on EB I-4 to Fairbanks Avenue.
    September 15 – September 25
    Everyday 10 PM – 5 AM
  • Intermittent nightly lane closure on EB I-4 from Par Street to SR-414/Maitland Boulevard: 2 right lanes closed. September 14 – September 26
    Everyday 9:30 PM – 7 AM
  • Continuous ramp closure on WB I-4 to SR-434.
    Beginning September 11 at 12 AM
  • Intermittent nightly lane closure on WB SR-436 from Palm Springs Drive to Westmonte Drive: 2 left lanes closed. September 01 – September 30
    Sunday – Friday 10 PM – 5 AM

All alerts are for planned activities, which may be cancelled or changed due to weather and other circumstances.


For more I-4 construction information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Hurricane Irma Update – Sunday, September 10, 2017

As of Sunday morning, September 10, 2017, a good portion of Florida now appears in the forecast cone for Hurricane Irma.

The storm is currently impacting South Florida, and is forecasted to move up the west coast of the state over the next 24 to 48 hours.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Fernandina Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to Indian Pass, as well as for the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from west of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton county line and from north of Fernandina Beach to the South Santee River.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from the South Santee River southward to Jupiter Inlet and from North Miami Beach southward around the Fliorida peninsula to the Ochlockonee River, as well as for the Florida Keys and Tampa Bay.

Travelers are encouraged to continue to monitor the storm path using the official source links below and to heed any evacuation orders or notices issued, which can be found at floridadisaster.org.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Florida DOT Implements Limited Emergency Shoulder Use for Hurricane

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), working with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), has implemented a limited Emergency Shoulder Use (ESU) plan for Hurricane Irma evacuations on I-4 from 50th Street in Tampa to east of SR 429/Western Beltway in Orlando. This plan is anticipated to assist the large number of motorists evacuating from Florida’s west coast. Motorists may only use the left shoulder when directed by law enforcement and highway signs.

  • There is no contraflow or one-way operation in use on Florida state roadways
  • No other state roadways are currently approved for shoulder use
  • Although there are heavy pockets of evacuation traffic in some areas; traffic is flowing on this section of roadway
  • Law enforcement urges motorists to use caution when driving on the shoulder – right shoulder use is prohibited
  • FDOT has 13 Traffic Management Centers where hundreds of DOT workers are monitoring traffic cameras 24/7 to ensure traffic flows continue and evacuations proceed without interruption.

For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Florida Issues Hurricane Irma Update

Today, Governor Rick Scott received a full update on Hurricane Irma at the State Emergency Operations Center. The Governor is traveling the state today to meet with local officials, ensure communities have all the resources they may need, and to encourage families and visitors to be fully prepared.

Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches are in effect for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys. Additional watches should be expected. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in Miami Dade and Monroe Counties and voluntary evacuation orders have been issued in Broward and Collier Counties. Additional orders are expected as the storm nears the state. The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, and utility officials who are also working to ensure the state is prepared to respond to any potential impacts from Hurricane Irma.

EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

WATCHES AND WARNING

  • A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys.
  • A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.

EVACUATIONS AND SHELTERS

  • Miami Dade has issued mandatory evacuations for all of Zone A, the Barrier Islands of Zone B, and all mobile homes. Miami Dade residents can find their zones by clicking HERE.
  • Broward County has issued voluntary evacuations of mobile homes and low-lying areas.
  • Collier County has issued voluntary evacuations of Marco Island.
  • Monroe County has issued mandatory evacuations for visitors and residents. A dedicated transportation hotline is available specifically for individuals in the Keys at 305-517-2480.
  • School buses are available for transportation needs in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. At this time, Miami-Dade is using these services to help evacuate those with special needs and Broward has buses on stand-by.
  • Additional evacuations are expected throughout the state. All Floridians should pay close attention to local alerts and follow the directions of local officials.
  • Shelters are opening in coastal counties throughout the day, including shelters for people with special needs, pets and general populations. DOH is coordinating the set up and staffing for special needs shelters. A list of all open shelters will be available at floridadisaster.org/shelters.
  • The state is working with the American Red Cross to identify shelter capacity both during and following the storm.

MILITARY SUPPORT

  • Governor Scott has activated a total of 4,000 members of the Florida Army and Air National Guard to support with planning, and logistics operations in preparation for potential impacts from Hurricane Irma. These members are stationing across the state and actively assisting with preparation efforts.
  • At the direction of Governor Scott, all remaining National Guard members will be reporting for duty no later than Friday morning. Additional guard members will continue to be activated this week as needed.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the North Carolina National Guard to utilize air assets to assist with ongoing evacuations in the Florida Keys.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the New Jersey National Guard and approximately 130 soldiers and more than 50 vehicles are in route to provide transportation assets for movement of troops, supplies and equipment to aid mobilization efforts during Hurricane Irma operations.
  • The Florida National Guard has 1,000 high water vehicles, 13 helicopters, 17 boats and more than 700 generators on standby.
  • The Florida National Guard is coordinating with the National Guard Bureau to identify approximately 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks, 100 helicopters, and air evacuation crews that are standing by for Hurricane Irma support, if needed.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has more than 200 officers standing by for the first wave of response based on potential storm impacts. Thirty teams with supporting resources such as trucks, coastal and river patrol boats, an ATV and two shallow draft boats are preparing for evacuation support, search and rescue missions, or any additional needs.
  • FWC is also coordinating with partners in states such as Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas in case additional officers or resources are needed.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) established 18 emergency response teams for deployment to impacted areas and those teams will begin deploying tomorrow to pre-staging locations. Each FDLE region is operating its Regional Law Enforcement Coordination Team in advance of the storm to assist local law enforcement with any needs.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is coordinating with local troops to support evacuations, emergency preparedness and response, including assisting with hospital evacuations in Broward County and escorting fuel trucks.
  • A total of 330 FHP troopers are currently on standby for deployments. A 33-member team is currently in route to the Fort Myers area for quick response efforts once storm track and potential impacts are determined. Additionally, equipment such as high water recovery vehicles have been prepared for quick deployment to assist with recovery and road clearance efforts.
  • The Division of Motorist Services has its Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles on standby and will deploy them to impacted areas as needed.

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Tolls will be suspended for the duration of the storm’s impacts to Florida.
  • Real-time traffic information and evacuation routes is available at www.FL511.com
  • FDOT is coordinating with Google’s emergency response team to prepare to ‘close’ roads in Google Maps in real time in the event that Hurricane Irma forces the closure of any roads in the aftermath of the storm. Google Maps are used for Uber and Waze among other directional pplications.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has suspended construction contractor work and prepared key evacuation routes for possible shoulder use.
  • FDOT is coordinating with county emergency operations centers directly to coordinate any necessary response actions, including activating traffic counters, providing local evacuation support and providing maintenance of traffic and other assistance.
  • The state is monitoring conditions at all airports and seaports. As of now, there are no closed airports or seaports.

VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS

  • Volunteer Florida is coordinating with volunteer organizations across the state and has partnered with the American Red Cross to provide shelter operations training to volunteers and AmeriCorps grantees. To volunteer, go to volunteerflorida.org or call 1-800-FL-Help-1.
  • Governor Scott has set a goal of 17,000 volunteers. So far, more than 1,000 state employees and more than 5,700 members of the public have signed up with Red Cross to take the volunteer sheltering training.
  • Volunteer Florida has fielded 250 calls from individuals interested in volunteering.
  • Volunteer Florida is also registering volunteers at volunteerflorida.org. Over 1,900 individuals have registered to volunteer in the last 24 hours.
  • Volunteer Florida has 43 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) on standby to deploy to areas of need. Many of these teams have begun to work in local call centers and prepare for sheltering assistance.
  • American Red Cross teams are coordinating feeding at shelters and have staged 26 tractor trailers at the State Logistics Response Center, 150 trailers at the State Farmers Market, and 100 emergency response vehicles in North Florida.
  • The Salvation Army is on standby with 32 cooking units and two field kitchens stationed in Palm Beach and Miami. They are also coordinating additional supplies awaiting deployment from neighboring states.
  • The Florida Baptist Convention has 35 kitchens on standby ready to feed 35,000 meals a day.
  • Feeding Florida has received nine truckloads of food from Kellogg’s to assist in shelters with 16 additional trucks coming in. They currently have more than 4,000 food boxes on hand capable of sustaining a family of four for five days.
  • Church World Service has hygiene kits and cleanup buckets on standby.
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida has showers and trailers available in Pensacola and Lakeland for deployment, as well as supplies such as chainsaws, shovels, safety equipment and 1,200 tarps.
  • Church of Latter Day Saints has chainsaws, tarps, and water on standby.
  • United Methodist Church has hygiene kits and flood buckets on standby.
  • Angel Flight SE has 700 pilots based in the southeastern U.S. available to assist.
  • Church of Scientology is activating volunteers for FL and receiving volunteers and donations in Clearwater.
  • Church of Latter Day Saints is transporting material (primarily tarps, chainsaws, food and water) to Orlando, more on order from Atlanta Bishop’s Storehouse
  • Mission North American Disaster Relief is staging equipment in various locations across the state and have two shower trailers available.
  • UMCOR has 2,500-3000 flood buckets on hand and 3,000 hygiene kits.
  • United Way is arranging enhanced staffing for 211 to support and direct residents.

HUMAN SERVICES:

  • While the state is working with retail partners to fill grocery store shelves with water and other emergency resources as quickly as possible, it is important to be considerate of neighbors and take only what each family needs to be prepared.
  • Governor Scott has requested federal resources such as disaster tarps, water, baby food supplies, supply trucks, search and rescue personnel and equipment and incident management teams.
  • The state has established local points of contact with mass care organizations and volunteer agencies, including working with the American Red Cross to coordinate sheltering and feeding operations. The American Red Cross has also established a Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) in Orlando and is actively opening shelters.
  • The state is staging mass care supplies such as meals, shelter support trailers and water at the State Logistic Response Center in Orlando for deployments as needed.
  • Food Safety Response Teams are beginning to be placed on standby for recovery assessments.
  • The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has released September Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to current recipients who have not yet received them to assist with Hurricane Irma preparations.

VETERAN SERVICES

  • The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility. All state veterans’ homes are currently operational.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has closed the Homestead, Naples, Key West, Key Largo and Naples Community Based Outpatient Clinics. The VA Medical Center in Miami and all satellite clinics will close for scheduled and walk-in appointments beginning noon Friday.
  • Veterans from storm-impacted areas who require immediate assistance may contact: VA Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline: 1-800-507-4571.

STATE OFFICE CLOSURES

  • Governor Rick Scott directed state offices to close in all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma.
  • State offices in Monroe, Charlotte, Miami-Dade, Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, and Lee Counties are closed. Today, Manatee County and Palm Beach County offices will close early.
  • In partnership with the American Red Cross, salaried, non-essential state employees can receive expedited volunteer certifications for disaster services so that they may assist in or operate shelters in response to Hurricane Irma impacts and preparation. Florida law allows Governor Scott to grant full-time, salaried state employees up to 15 days of administrative leave for emergency volunteer efforts through the American Red Cross. Employees can register HERE.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

  • The Florida Department of Education is in contact with school districts, state colleges and universities as all continue to monitor Irma and her path. School closures are available at www.fldoe.org/irma.
  • The Florida Department of Education is coordinating with school districts across the state to ensure they are working with local governments and emergency management officials to offer school busses transportation support if needed.
  • Districts are preparing in the case that their facilities are needed for shelters. Colleges are making emergency preparations on their campuses and working with students who may need assistance with relocation.

K-12 Public Schools Closures

  • Alachua County (Monday)
  • Brevard County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Broward County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Charlotte County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Clay (Friday, Monday)
  • Collier County (Thursday, Friday)
  • DeSoto County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Dixie County (Friday, Monday)
  • Duval County (Friday, Monday)
  • Florida Atlantic University Lab School (Thursday, Friday)
  • Flagler County (Friday, Monday)
  • Glades County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Hardee County (Friday)
  • Hendry County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Hernando County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Highlands County (Friday, Monday)
  • Hillsborough County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Indian River County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Lake County (Early Release Friday – high schools at 1:20PM, elementary at 2PM, middle at 3PM, Monday)
  • Lee County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Manatee County (Friday)
  • Marion County will be (Friday, Monday)
  • Martin County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Miami-Dade County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Monroe County (Closed until further notice)
  • Nassau County (Friday, Monday)
  • Okeechobee County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Osceola County (Friday, Monday)
  • Orange County (Monday)
  • Palm Beach County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Pasco County (Friday)
  • Polk County (Friday)
  • Sarasota (Friday)
  • School for the Deaf and Blind (Thursday, Friday)
  • Seminole County (Monday)
  • St. Johns (Friday, Monday)
  • St. Lucie County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Volusia County (Friday, Monday, Cancelled ACT test administrations scheduled for Saturday, September 9, at area high schools.)

Florida College System Closures

  • Broward College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • College of Central Florida (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • Daytona State College (Thursday, Friday)
  • Eastern Florida State College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida Keys Community College (Closed until further notice)
  • Florida SouthWestern State College (Thursday, Friday)
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • Hillsborough Community College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Indian River State College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Miami Dade College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • New College of Florida (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
  • Palm Beach State College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Pasco-Hernando State College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • Polk State College (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • Seminole State College (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • St. Johns River State College (Friday until further notice)
  • St. Petersburg College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Valencia College (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)

State University System Closures

  • Florida Atlantic University (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida Gulf Coast University (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida International University (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida Polytechnic University (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
  • University of Florida (Sunday, Monday)
  • University of Central Florida (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • University of North Florida (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • University of South Florida (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)

FUELS

  • For more information, please click HERE

Governor Scott has taken the following action to expedite fuel delivery:

  • Governor Scott has directed state police to escort fuel delivery trucks so they can quickly deliver fuel to gas stations along evacuation routes. This includes the Florida Keys, where police evacuation escorts have been offered to identified gas station employees so gas stations can stay open as long as possible.
  • Governor Scott has rescinded all weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies can be quickly brought to Florida.
  • Following a request from Governor Scott, the same restrictions have been waived in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.
  • Governor Scott has spoken with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, FEMA administrator Brock Long, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about waiving rules and regulations to get gas into Florida quickly.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved an emergency fuel waiver at the Governor’s request which will allow more fuel to quickly enter the state.
  • All Florida ports are operational and are prioritizing fuel shipments.

Fuel Updates

  • The state has worked with fuel suppliers to identify excess fuel in the Western Panhandle to potentially arrange escorts to ensure that there is fuel supply where needed for evacuations.
  • Emergency fuel contractors have secured 1.5 million gallons of fuel for initial delivery and confirmed that additional fuel supply is on standby for future deliveries.
  • The state is working to identify other fuel ships that can be diverted to Florida ports for fuel supply.
  • There is currently a fuel ship in route from a refinery in Mississippi to the Port of Tampa for resupply. The Governor has directed the State Emergency Response Team to arrange a military escort into the port. This is in addition to a ship currently in Tampa that is unloading more than 300,000 barrels of fuel to resupply gas stations in the evacuation zones.

BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, & ECONOMIC STABILIZATION

  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) created an event in the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) for Hurricane Irma and are currently updating with up-to-date storm information, situation reports and resources for the business community. FLVBEOC is available at www.flvbeoc.org.
  • The state has activated the Private Sector Hotline at 850-815-4925. The hotline is available for business inquiries about the storm, preparedness information and post-impact information.
  • The state is conducting daily Private Sector conference calls to provide situational awareness and to address concerns of private sector partners.
  • DEO is continuing to coordinate with CareerSource Florida, local workforce boards, and other public-private partners.
  • Major retailers are being contacted to provide the status of emergency supplies.

VISIT FLORIDA

  • VISIT FLORIDA remains in contact with all destination marketing partners and emergency contacts and has activated the Homepage Banner and Florida Now page on visitflorida.com to advise consumers.
  • Through VISIT FLORIDA’s partnership with Expedia, Expedia.com/Florida has been activated to provide accommodations availability information for visitors, residents and first responders.
  • VISIT FLORIDA is sending a targeted Facebook message to approximately 250,000 domestic and international visitors currently in Florida advising them of Hurricane Irma and urging them to take necessary precautions.
  • VISIT FLORIDA’s Welcome Centers have transitioned to emergency information centers to help direct evacuees with the most up to date information.
  • VISIT FLORIDA’s Welcome Center staff are all Red Cross Certified and stand ready to assist at shelters and other areas as needed.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL

  • Under a State of Emergency, individuals are able to refill prescriptions early. All health insurers, managed care organizations, and other entities that are licensed by the Office of Insurance Regulation and provide prescription medication coverage as part of a policy are required to waive time restrictions on prescription medication refills.
  • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with hospitals and healthcare facilities across Florida on evacuation needs. DOH has aided in the evacuation of seven hospitals and five non-hospital health care facilities thus far.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has Disaster Medical Assistance Teams on standby for Florida. These rapid response teams aid in the provision of medical care to those who need it after the storm.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ regional offices have contacted providers and waiver support coordinators to ensure APD customers have a hurricane plan in place and that communities for people with developmental disabilities are preparing for the storm. Two group homes in Monroe County have evacuated. Others are evacuating on Thursday. Many will be going to a special needs shelter at Florida International University.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ Southern Region is on standby to evacuate. One group home has been evacuated from the Central Region. Two more are planning to evacuate this morning. One group home from Broward County has evacuated.

ELECTRIC & NATURAL GAS UTILITIES (Public Service Commission)

  • Utility providers are working on staging and asset allocation so they can return power as quickly as possible following the storm and are prepared to start reporting outage and restoral information when notified to begin.
  • The state is monitoring the power grid for sufficient power and the natural gas infrastructure for any damages that can cause a loss of service to power plants.
  • The state is coordinating with utilities to identify potential fuel, equipment or resource needs.
  • Memos for several gas companies to have access to their facilities have been issued.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • The state has contacted telecommunications partners and activated protective action plans and procedures for Central Offices, tower sites, mobile response units and any other critical infrastructure.
  • Comcast has opened more than 137,000 free Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout the state for individuals in need, including non-Xfinity customers, to help residents and emergency personnel stay connected if Hurricane Irma makes anticipated landfall in Florida. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, which are located both indoors and outdoors in places such as shopping districts, parks and businesses, please visit Xfinity.com/wifi.
  • Telecommunications Partners are monitoring fuel levels for generators and back-up power supply for cell towers.
  • The state has finalized 24-hour staffing schedules and all Telecommunications remain on standby to respond if required. Additional resources are being identified and preparing for potential deployment.
  • At this point, there are no out of ordinary reports of any major outages.
  • Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) has been sharing vital information about Hurricane Irma through their broadcast network, social media and station websites.
  • FPREN is also reporting important news and information through the Florida Storms app and social media pages.
  • The state is monitoring the State Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), which is fully operational.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff is currently conducting baseline shoreline assessments to help evaluate beach impacts. DEP is also assisting in identifying and fortifying vulnerable areas of shoreline.
  • DEP is reaching out to drinking, wastewater and hazardous waste facilities to help ensure preparation steps are being taken, and has issued an emergency final order to ensure recovery efforts are not hampered or delayed.
  • Sixteen Florida State Parks are currently closed. DEP is preparing to close more than 20 additional parks by the end of the day today. A full list of closures can be found at https://floridastateparks.org/content/storm-information.

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has begun a pre-storm drawdown that includes water releases from Lake Okeechobee. The Corps anticipates the releases will last a short time, with future water management decisions dependent on the water level in the lake after the storm passes.
  • Routine inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike are taking place and additional inspections will begin once the lake approaches 17 feet. The lake level is currently at 13.67 feet.
  • The South Florida Water Management District has begun lowering water levels in canals and moving as much water as possible to tide and south through flood control structures throughout its flood control system in preparation for the storm.
  • Field station staff are also inspecting key parts of the flood control system and ensuring adequate supplies of fuel and equipment for pump stations.
  • The District is closely coordinating with local drainage districts and governments to help them prepare their local canal systems for stormwater runoff from the hurricane.

INSURANCE

  • The Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has activated its internal Incident Management Team (IMT) for coordination of activities related to Hurricane Irma and is preparing to respond to deployments as needed, and prepared to order property insurers to submit claims information from Hurricane Irma.
  • Additionally, in response to the Governor’s Office Executive Order, OIR has notified all entities writing health insurance in the state of their statutory obligation to allow for early prescription refills. OIR is also coordinating with the Agency for Healthcare Administration and Department of Health.
  • Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is encouraging all Floridians to keep all insurance and banking information in one, easily-accessible place. Consumers can download a copy of the Department’s free Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit. The Toolkit serves as a one-stop shop for all finance, emergency and insurance contact information. Download and complete the toolkit today.
  • Consumers with questions about their policies and those who need help filing a claim should call the CFO’s free Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
  • OIR has updated its “Hurricane Season Resources” webpage, which contains links to information provided by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, and contact information for Florida’s property insurers.

State Emergency Operations Center/ Contact Information:

  • The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to level one, which is a full-scale, 24-hours-a-day activation.
  • The Florida Emergency Information Line has been activated and is available 24/7 for families and victors at 1-800-342-3557.
  • The media line is 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Irma.
  • Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.
  • On Monday, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 counties within the State of Florida.
  • On Tuesday, Governor Scott requested, and President Donald Trump approved, a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma which provided important preparation resources and assistance from the federal government.

For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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