Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes said his deputies are patrolling the county ensuring people’s homes are safe.
“That’s our main focus right now...to make sure the homes of the people who evacuated are secure,” he said.
The county issued mandatory evacuations of the entire county to include all the municipalities ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Although the latest models show Irma shifting to the west, the width of the hurricane means strong winds, pounding rain and possible storm surge is expected in our area.
Sikes said the department has 18 patrol cars out each with two men crews.
“So that’s 36 deputies riding around this county at any given time and we will be doing that for however many days that it takes,” he said.
Sikes said all roads are currently open and traffic in and out of the county is accessible.
“If we know the road is safe we are going to allow people to continue to use it,” he said. “But once some of these officers come back and report that there are trees down or wires down across those roads we will block those roads.”
He asked the citizens of Liberty County to use common sense as to not place themselves or officers in harm’s way.
At the moment the Sheriff said there are no curfews in place but that is something that could be implemented in the future if needed.
Sikes said he is concerned about storm surge as Irma strengthens over the warm waters of Florida. He added he is also watching Hurricane Jose.
But he is confident his department will be able to handle things swiftly and professionally.
“I don’t know of any department that can handle this better than we can,” he said.
During a hurricane update meeting held Thursday Sikes reminded the community that all emergency reponse operations cease at the start of Tropical Storm Force winds. Response begins promptly after winds go under 40 miles per hour. Tropical Storm force winds are expected in our area Sunday.