Palm Beach County School District transportation officials will conduct a Western Area Evacuation Plan Exercise on Friday, June 8, 2012, at 7:00 a.m. This annual exercise is designed to simulate functions associated with evacuating the western area communities of Palm Beach County in the event of a breach of the Lake Okeechobee Dike.
Transportation officials will utilize approximately 30 buses from the six (6) transportation facilities to participate in this exercise. The buses will be required to travel to assigned pick-up locations in the west area and return to the South Florida Fairgrounds. Also, Movement Control Teams will be strategically staged on State Road 80 to monitor this process.
It is estimated that 18,000 people will depend on public transportation for evacuation. Contingency plans, will allow for much greater numbers of potential evacuees.
The School District has approximately 821 buses, located at six (6) transportation facilities throughout the county. The West Transportation Facility located in Belle Glade, FL has 50 school buses permanently assigned to the Glades area with seating capacity ranging from 50 to 84 passengers. This facility has an overall carrying capacity of approximately 3,000 passengers. The carrying capacity will be reduced based on personal effects being carried by individuals.
Additional buses from other transportation facilities will augment the evacuation process as required. Drivers and buses from other facilities can be mobilized in approximately one (1) hour and can reach pick-up areas in the Glades area in approximately one additional hour, assuming local law enforcement officials close one lane of traffic on SR 80, as called for in the Evacuation Plan developed by the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
For more information, contact George Pratt, West Area Manager, Transportation Services, at (561) 242-8364 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – email@example.com