PALM COAST, Fla. – As Hurricane Irma nears, a mandatory evacuation went into effect at 7 a.m. Saturday for the following areas:
- Evacuation Zone A includes everything east of the Intracoastal including Marineland, Hammock, Flagler Beach along A1A.
- Evacuation Zone F is in western Flagler County and includes areas near Dead Lake – St. Johns Park and the Haw Creek Basin – as the St. Johns River, which feeds Dead Lake.
- Low-lying areas subject to flooding, as well as for those who live in mobile homes, recreational vehicles, and trailers.
- Individuals with special medical needs, due to the potential loss of power.
An existing mandatory evacuation remains in effect for evacuation zones A, B, C and F for all nursing homes, elder care facilities, other elder care facilities, community residential group homes and non-elder health care facilities and community residential group homes.
Residents of all other areas (Zones B, C, D, and E) should shelter in place unless they meet any of the above criteria.
“We are requiring people to get out of harm’s way, which means going to a shelter at this point,” Flagler County Public Safety Emergency Manager Steve Garten said. “We are asking people to remain within the county if they haven’t already left for some other destination, both because of traffic conditions and uncertain weather conditions.”
Residents can call Flagler County at 386-586-5111 or visit FlaglerCounty.org for more information.
Shelters will open at 7 a.m. Saturday at: 1) Rymfire Elementary for special needs; 2) Bunnell Elementary for residents with crated, domestic pets; and, shelters 3 - 4) Buddy Taylor – Wadsworth campus for the general population.
People should have an emergency kit that should minimally include the following:
- Water -- 1 gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days to be used for drinking and sanitation.
- Limit or reduce flushing, showers and baths
- Food — at least a three-day supply on non-perishable food. Choose foods the family will eat even under blue skies. Include some snacks and comfort food to ease stress.
- Radio(s) – battery powered or hand-crank radio, and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. Have extra batteries for both.
- Flashlight(s) – and extra batteries.
- Whistle – to be used to signal for help.
- Dust mask – to help filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
- Moist towelettes – and other personal sanitation items like garbage bags and plastic ties.
- Wrench or pliers – to turn off utilities.
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
Check for current information on Flagler County’s website flaglercounty.org, and follow “Flagler County Government” or “Flagler County Emergency Management" on Facebook or Twitter. The county’s social media team will provide updates through these official accounts:
Shelters open Saturday morning
Shelters opened at 7 a.m. Saturday at the following locations:
- Bunnell Elementary -- General Population and Pets -- 305 N. Palmetto Street, Bunnell
- Rymfire Elementary -- Special Needs -- 1425 Rymfire Drive, Palm Coast
- Buddy Taylor/Wadsworth Campus -- General Population -- 4500 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast
Some cots will be available at the shelters – fewer at the Buddy Taylor/Wadsworth campus. Residents will be permitted to bring single/twin size inflatable mattresses. Queen and king size mattresses will not be allowed.
All residents should bring:
- 72-hour supply of all medications
- Sleeping bags, pillows and blankets
- Extra chargers and batteries for electronics
- Headphones for music devices
- Snacks and “comfort foods” – meals will be served
- Those with special diets should bring appropriate foods
- No weapons allowed
- No illegal narcotics allowed
- No alcohol allowed
Residents with pets (Bunnell Elementary only):
- Animals must be crated
- Animals must have current vaccination records and supplies, including medications
- “Pets” are dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and turtles
- Four pet maximum
- No snakes, reptiles or farm animals and livestock
- No drop offs
Residents with special needs (Rymfire Elementary):
- Special needs residents are those who require assistance with daily living or who have medical conditions that prevent or hinder their ability to care for themselves, as well as those who require electricity or oxygen
- A family member or caregiver should stay at the shelter with the individual
- Special needs shelters provide only limited medical care
All Flagler County residents are encouraged to prepare for this massive storm. You can find additional information at www.flaglercounty.org.
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Curfew and alcohol
A 7 p.m. to noon Monday curfew was imposed in Flagler County until further notices. Flagler County Sheriff's officer closed does the eastbound lanes of the Flagler Beach bridge at 7 p.m. Saturday as the curfew went into effect.
Flagler County also issued an emergency order suspending alcohol sales as of 7 a.m. Sunday. The ban includes bars and restaurants in addition to liquor and grocery stores.
Flagler County and the city of Palm Coast will have sand available at several areas throughout the county. Sandbags are available in some locations with orders expected to arrive within the next couple of days.
Residents will need to bring their own shovels for filling bags -- and bags at the present time -- as the materials are being provided for self-service during daylight hours.
“We are working diligently to prepare for Hurricane Irma, and part of that is doing what we can to help residents protect their property,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “Supplies are limited, so we ask that only those people who live in areas where flooding will most likely occur.”
Flagler County will provide sand and bags at the following three locations:
- Fire Station 71, 89 E. County Road 2006, western Flagler County
- Fire Station 41, 5593 N. Oceanshore Boulevard, in the Hammock.
- Fire Station 92, at the Flagler Executive Airport, 201 Airport Road.
- Fire Station 62, 1601 Old Moody Boulevard, Bunnell
Those who have their own bags, can fill up to 20 bags with sand. When bags are available, residents will be limited to 10 bags.
Sand is also available through the city of Palm Coast and bags are expected to be delivered within the next couple of days at these locations:
- Palm Coast Public Works Yard, 1 Wellfield Grade, off U.S. 1 just north of Palm Coast Parkway, Palm Coast.
- Holland Park, 18 Florida Park Drive, Palm Coast
- Indian Trails Sports Complex, 5455 Belle Terre Pkwy., Palm Coast
- Seminole Woods Neighborhood Park, 350 Sesame Blvd., Palm Coast
For storm-prep information, visit www.flaglercounty.org/emergency.
Call-in center opens
The Flagler County Emergency Operations Center opened a call-in center on Wednesday.
“A team of staff and volunteers began manning the phone lines at 1 p.m. They will answer calls through 6 p.m.,” said Steve Garten, public safety emergency manager. “They will resume taking calls at 6 a.m. Thursday.”
The call-in center number is 386-586-5111.
“We strongly encourage everyone to take Hurricane Irma very seriously. If you haven’t already, please make your personal preparations,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “Make sure your important documents are in a water-tight container. Also, have water and non-perishable food. If you think you are going to need to evacuate, make plans to do so now.”
All Hurricane Irma news releases will be posted at www.flaglercounty.org/irma.
All schools in Flagler County will be closed through Tuesday in advance of Hurricane Irma. While the county is not expected to feel the effects of the storm until later in the weekend, Superintendent James Tager said, “Out of an abundance of caution, I want to give our families the additional time to prepare their homes for this storm or to evacuate if they feel that decision is in their best interest.”
All after-school activities planned for Friday and Monday, as well as all weekend activities, have been canceled.
All city offices in Bunnell will be closed through Monday. Offices could also be closed Tuesday.
In preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, the City of Palm Coast announces the following closures and program cancellations for Saturday through Wednesday, Sept. 9-13:
- Movies in the Park scheduled for Friday is canceled.
- The Intracoastal Waterway Cleanup scheduled for Saturday is canceled.
- For the Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches Senior Games, the archery event on Saturday and pickleball doubles on Wednesday, Sept. 13, are canceled.
- The 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial for Monday is canceled.
- All Parks & Recreation programs and activities are canceled for Saturday through next Wednesday, Sept. 9-13. Those include the Basic Swim Instructor Course, the Night Tours program, all tennis lessons and classes, Open Gym Volleyball, Aqua Zumba, Munchkin’ Creations, pickleball open court, Open Gym Basketball and Playground Pals.
- Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool, the Palm Coast Tennis Center and Palm Harbor Golf Club will be closed Saturday through Wednesday, Sept. 9-13.
- All team practices and games at City parks are canceled for Saturday through next Wednesday.
- Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park and Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach closed until further notice
Please continue to check the City’s website at www.palmcoastgov.com for additional City closure announcements as the storm approaches.
The City will also provide updates through these social media accounts:
The first budget hearing for the fiscal year 2017-2018, and the regular board meeting originally scheduled for Monday have been canceled until further notice.
Flagler County Emergency Management is posting storm information at: www.flaglercounty.org/irma. Also tune into the county’s partner radio station WNZF at 1550AM and 106.3FM and the Flagler Radio App worldwide. The Flagler County Emergency Operations Center call-in center number is 386-586-5111.
Any questions about City of Palm Coast services – water and sewer, streets, drainage – should be directed to Customer Service at 386-986-2360.
The emergency proclamation will be in effect for seven days. It allows Flagler County to enter into contracts and incur obligations, as well as acquire and distribute materials and supplies for the health and safety of its residents.