Developments in Florida ahead of Tropical Storm Rita - Montgomery Alabama news.

Developments in Florida ahead of Tropical Storm Rita

(AP)_The following are Monday's developments ahead of Tropical Storm Rita:

_ The entire Florida Keys island chain is under a hurricane warning and mandatory evacuation. There is also a hurricane warning for Miami-Dade County, where residents in coastal areas such as Miami Beach and Key Biscayne are under voluntary evacuation orders. A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are in effect for Broward County, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Palm Beach County. A hurricane watch is in effect for the extreme southwestern Florida peninsula from west of East Cape Sable northward to Chokoloskee.

_ Tolls have been suspended on parts of the southern Florida's Turnpike and on Card Sound Bridge in the Florida Keys.

_ The U-S Coast Guard is urging mariners to secure or move vessels as a precaution. The agency also warns that navigational aids may have been or will be moved because of severe weather. All vessels greater than 500 tons were told to leave the Port of Key West. All drawbridges in Monroe County are locked down while drawbridges in Miami-Dade County will be locked by 11 p-m Eastern time.

_ State courts in Miami-Dade closed at noon while federal courts are scheduled to close this afternoon. They are to remain closed tomorrow.

_ Schools are closed in Monroe County today and tomorrow. All county and most municipal offices are scheduled to close. City of Key West offices will be closed the entire day.

_ Miami-Dade and Broward County schools will be closed tomorrow.

_ Key West High School is open as a hurricane shelter. The shelter at Florida International University in west Miami-Dade County will open for special needs patients, but not the public.

_ Governor Jeb Bush has declared a state of emergency.

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