CATEGORY 4 STORM THREATENS AREA
Escambia County EMA director David Jennings held a meeting Friday afternoon to detail logistics in preparation for Hurricane Dennis's expected landfall later this weekend.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, Escambia County (Ala.) officials were waiting for the storm to pass over Cuba before deciding if evacuation should be mandatory here.
There were two factors that could affect the storm as it left Cuba, he said. The first was whether or not the storm passed over Cuba's mountainous region. The second is that the temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is cooler than usual.
The local chapters of the American Red Cross will not open storm shelters here if Dennis comes ashore as a Category 4 hurricane. Officials said they cannot guarantee the safety of local facilities normally used as shelters in a storm of that magnitude. The Red Cross would, however, likely open shelters after the storm has passed. Several churches are opening independent shelters, including
Those seeking Red Cross shelters north of Escambia County where they might seek shelter may call 1-866-438-4636 (GET INFO) for information. Those who need transportation should call ECATS at 867-0232 for information.