Jacksonville, FL - As Hurricane Irma moves closer, St. Johns County officials, including the mayor of St. Augustine and the St. Johns County sheriff, are warning this storm is "unlike anything that Florida has experienced in recent memory" as they announce the timing of mandatory evacuations.
Starting at 6 AM on Saturday, September 9, the county has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Evacuation Zones A and B, which includes the City of St. Augustine, the Town of Hastings, and those living on waterfront property within the evacuation zones.
Residents living in boats, RVs, and mobile homes throughout the county are also included in the evacuation order.
While the order doesn't officially begin until 6 AM on Saturday, they're urging everyone to begin leaving as soon as possible to help cut down on traffic later.
But Sheriff David Shoar says there will be congestion on the roads, saying, "We need to be patient. Traffic control obviously is going to be a big issue. I'm a little concerned about all this traffic coming from South Florida and inundating some of these coastal counties. Hopefully they won't.
Shoar goes on to say, "We're prepared to do a lot of things [to help traffic], including closing off access to St. Johns County if it gets to the point that we don't think we can safely manage the flow."
If you are not planning to leave, St. Johns County is opening five shelters, also at 6 AM on Saturday, at the following locations:
-Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Ln. (Special needs)
-Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Ln. (Pet-friendly)
-Southwoods Elementary School, 4750 SR 206. (pet friendly)
-Pedro Menendez High School, 600 SR 206 West (General population)
-Bartram Trail High School, 7399 Longleaf Pine Pkwy. (General population)
If you do plan to go to one of the shelters, they recommend everyone bring their own bedding, including sleeping bags or air mattresses, as well as the following:
-Three-day supply of medications, insulin and cooler if you are diabetic
-Personal grooming and hygiene items, feminine supplies
-Extra clothing, eyeglasses
-Books, magazines, cards, games, etc.
-Pillows, blankets, sheets, lawn chair/chaise lounge
-Flashlight and extra batteries, manual can opener
-Personal identification/important papers
If you need more information, call the St. Johns County Citizen Information Hotline at (904) 824-5550, or visit www.sjcemergencymanagement.org/shetpub.html.
St. Johns County Issues Mandatory EvacuationDue to intensified conditions of Hurricane Irma, St. Johns County has...Posted by St. Johns County Government Connection on Thursday, September 7, 2017