The Voice of the Gem City

September 3, 2019

Hurricane Dorian continues slowly making its way to Florida with coastal counties and those along the St. Johns River finishing last-minute preparations. Evacuations are being called for in low-lying areas in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties. Schools including colleges in all three counties are closed at least through Wednesday. Flagler schools are closed through  Thursday. St. Johns River State College is closed through Friday. County courthouses and courtrooms in the Seventh Judicial Circuit are closed through Wednesday. Government offices are closed although police, sheriff, emergency management and fire rescue are in place and city and county crews are readying for the aftermath of Dorian.

In all three counties anyone in RVs or mobile homes or those living on boats are urged to leave.

In a rare move Putnam County is calling for mandatory evacuations along low-lying areas of the St. Johns River including in Palatka. Mandatory evacuations also are called for at Dunn’s Creek, Federal Point and Sportsman’s Harbor.

In St. Johns County mandatory evacuations along the coast began Monday with a 4 p.m. deadline today.  Both St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach are facing mandatory evacuations and that affects about 148,000 people. Also being urged to evacuate are residents in Hastings and Flagler Estates, both low-lying areas.

All of Flagler County is under a hurricane watch and storm surge watch. Evacuations went into effect for the barrier island Monday and deadline is 7 p.m. tonight. That includes everything east of the Intracoastal including Marineland, the Hammock and Flagler Beach along State Road A1A. Also being evacuated are parts of Palm Coast’s C and F sections and large portion of western Flagler.

Sandbags still are available in the three counties.

Shelters open include:
In Flagler County at Rymfire Elementary but only for those with special needs. Bunnell Elementary is handling other evacuees.
In St. Johns County shelters for the general population are open at Pacetti Bay Middle, Pedro Menendez, Bartram Trail High and Osceola Elementary. Pet-friendly shelters are open at Timberlin Creek Elementary and Southwoods Elementary.
In Putnam County shelters are open at Interlachen Elementary, Q.I. Roberts, Browning-Pearce Elementary and Middleton-Burney. Special needs shelter is Kelley Smith Elementary and pet shelter is Ocwilla.

You can go online or call emergency management.
Putnam County is 386-329-1904.
Flagler County is  386-313-4200.
St. Johns County 904-824-5550.

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