Flagler County first responders grounded for duration of storm

Residents urged to stay indoors as Hurricane Irma moves through

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Effective at midnight, Flagler County first responders are grounded for the duration of Hurricane Irma, and residents are advised to stay indoors during that time. 

“Sustained winds are projected to have reached 45 mph, which means first responders are unable to respond to calls for service due to unsafe weather conditions,” said Steve Garten, Flagler County public safety emergency manager. “It is very important that everyone stays indoors from here on out.”

Crews will assess the storm damage, power outages, downed electric lines and trees as well as road closures. Please be patient, first responders will get to those in need of services as soon as possible.

“Please stay where you are until we can determine whether conditions are safe,” Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
Check for current information on Flagler County’s website www.flaglercounty.org.

Intracoastal bridges to close

The bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway in Flagler County were shut down at midnight Monday and will remain closed until weather conditions improve.

“We have to close the bridges for safety reasons once wind speeds reach 45 mph, which we anticipate will happen at midnight,” said Flagler County Deputy Fire Chief Joe King. “It is important for residents to know we won’t have the ability to send out our first responders should individuals need assistance.”

Curfew expanded 

A curfew will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice. 

On Sunday night, Flagler County issued an emergency order extending the curfew from 7 a.m. Monday to noon.

“The forward movement of Hurricane Irma has slowed,” said Garten. “We now expect dangerous winds and conditions to linger longer than first anticipated.”

The ban on the sale of alcohol, which started at 7 a.m. Sunday, continues and includes bars and restaurants in addition to liquor stores and grocery stores.

“Residents need to stay indoors and off the roadways until the hurricane has past us and it is safe,” Coffey said.


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.

Residents can call Flagler County at 386-586-5111 or visit FlaglerCounty.org for more information.


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

Call-in center opens

The Flagler County Emergency Operations Center opened a call-in center on Wednesday.       

The call-in center number is 386-586-5111. 

Schools close

All schools in Flagler County will be closed through Thursday. 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, are canceled.

Cancellations, closures

Flagler County suspended administrative office services through Wednesday. 

All city offices in Bunnell and Flagler Beachwill be closed through at least Tuesday.

The City of Palm Coast has announced power to City hall and the Utility Offices is out. Once it is restored, they will reopen those facilities.

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.

Any questions about City of Palm Coast services – water and sewer, streets, drainage – should be directed to Customer Service at 386-986-2360.

An 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.