Flagler County orders evacuations for Zones A, B & F

Shelters open as residents flee ahead of Hurricane Dorian

By Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor, Brittany Jones - Reporter, Kelly Wiley - I-TEAM reporter, Colette DuChanois - Web producer

BUNNELL, Fla. - Effective at noon Monday, residents and visitors in Evacuation Zones A, B and F, as well as those living in flood-prone areas and mobile/manufactured homes countywide, are directed to evacuate in advance of Hurricane Dorian’s impact to Flagler County.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been replaced by a newer story with the latest information

The National Weather Service anticipates Flagler County has a 90% chance of feeling tropical storm force winds and a 40% chance of experiencing hurricane force winds by Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Rick Staly said.

"This is an extremely strong storm that we must take seriously," Staly said, adding that the county can expect a coastal surge of 3-6 feet above ground level and waves of 15-25 feet. "This is a potentially catastrophic event for our beaches."

He urged surfers to avoid the water despite the tempting waves.

Those residents and visitors whose evacuation plan is to leave Flagler County should do so immediately.

“Now is the time to take a deep breath and to make sure you have an emergency plan for you and your family,” Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said. “Being prepared helps us to help you. These are shelters of last resort so if you can stay with a friend or relative, please do so.”

Evacuation Zone A includes everything east of the Intracoastal including Marineland, Hammock, Flagler Beach along State Road A1A. 

Evacuation Zone B includes the neighborhoods off of Colbert Lane, all of the C section and the F section east of Florida Park Drive and the F section east of Palm Harbor Parkway. This zone also includes the area east of Old Kings Road, south of State Road 100 including Bulow, Plantation Oaks, and their adjacent neighborhoods. Also included is western Flagler Beach and residences off John Anderson Highway.

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 is tidal.

RESOURCES: Flagler County evacuation zone map
Know your flood/evacuation zone

"Now is crunch time. It's coming. The question is how bad are we going to take it," Staly said.

He also asked for prayers for the county's first responders and their families.

 

Shelters open

Residents whose evacuation plan is to remain in Flagler County, be sure to complete your evacuation no later than 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bunnell Elementary -- General Population and Pets
305 N. Palmetto Street, Bunnell

Rymfire Elementary -- Special Needs
1425 Rymfire Drive, Palm Coast

Registered sex offenders who need shelter are being asked to go to the Sheriff's Office, not shelters for the general population

Residents are encouraged to bring their own bedding. Single/twin size inflatable mattresses are allowed, but queen and king size mattresses will not be allowed. 

All residents should bring:

  • Five-day supply of all medications
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets
  • Extra chargers and batteries for electronics
  • Headphones for music devices
  • Snacks and “comfort foods” – meals will be served
  • Important documents including identification, medical history, and insurance
  • 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 (4) 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

Residents who have special medical needs (requiring daily assistance, or that prevent or hinder one’s ability to care for oneself) AND

  • Live in evacuation zones: A, B, F, flood-prone areas, or mobile / manufactured homes; or
  • Require electricity for medical needs, countywide;

Check for current information on Flagler County’s website www.flaglercounty.org.

The county had previously ordered evacuations for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and group homes in Evacuation Zones A, B and F, effective at 8 a.m. Monday. If you need to arrange transportation to the shelter please contact the Flagler County Call Center at 386-586-5111.

On Monday, hundreds of elderly patients in Flagler County were being loaded onto buses to flee Hurricane Dorian. At Tuscan Gardens assisted living in Palm Coast, many were comforting their parents before a four-hour drive to the sister facility. Both of Debbie Seiferheld’s parents have to leave town. 

"She is doing OK. My mother thinks it’s an adventure. My dad ... he’s not so sure," Seiferheld.

  Tracking Dorian

Flagler County's Hurricane Call Center is now operational 24 hours at 386-586-5111.

Flagler County officials are encouraging residents to sign up for weather warning notifications and for those requiring additional assistance to apply for the special needs registry. 

More specifically, individuals who should register for special needs evacuation sheltering are people who require daily assistance with medical conditions that prevent or hinder their ability to care for themselves. 

Residents with computer access can register for either or both online at www.flaglercounty.org/emergency

The direct link for the ALERTFlagler weather notifications is www.FlaglerCounty.org/ALERTFlagler.

The direct link for special needs is www.flaglercounty.org/specialneeds, where a printable application form is available as well as a link to the Special Needs Registry. 

PHOTOS: Flagler County prepares for Dorian

7 p.m. Tuesday curfew for evacuation zones

Flagler County has issued a curfew for evacuation zones -- A, B, and F -- that will go into effect at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, until further notice.

“There is a mandatory evacuation in effect, and we certainly hope everyone is taking this seriously,” Lord said. “Law enforcement will be working diligently to ensure that everyone’s property is safe from the criminal element.”

The bridges are currently open to the barrier island and will not close until winds are sustained at 45 mph. That is expected to happen by Tuesday evening. Entry back to the barrier island will be permitted with IDs only after it's deemed safe for the public to return.

"Every mile Dorian shifts from current predictions can greatly impact the effects felt in Flagler County," Staly said. "We ask that you heed the warnings."

He encouraged those planning to leave the county to do it Monday before the conditions worsened.

“This is going to be a long-term, multiday storm that is going to impact our area,” Lord said. “Stay diligent and immediately finish making preparations because Dorian is coming.”

In Flagler Beach, many of the shops along A1A were boarded up, with sandbags in front of them, on Monday night. That was thanks to a group that had been going door to door to make sure homeowners and business owners were ready for Dorian.

"I appreciate it so much. Those are great people. It's a great community. We love it here and this is why," said Flagler Beach homeowner Jim Bange, who had 4 feet of water rush into his home during Hurricane Irma. "Everybody gathers around and helps each other."

Before Irma in 2017, there was Hurricane Matthew, which put a beating on Flagler Beach in 2016. The pier lost about 160 feet, which cost about $900,000 in temporary repairs. Parts of A1A were also washed out from the storm surge, causing millions in damage and thousands in losses to businesses along the corridor.

"Over the past years, we’ve been through Matthew. We’ve been through Irma. We sort of have a jump start of what needs to be done in preparation as opposed to reacting. We’re trying to be proactive," said Scott Fox, co-owner of Tortugas. 

Flagler County under local state of emergency

Flagler County commissioners held a special meeting at noon Thursday to declare a local state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Dorian. 

The declaration was made at the meeting in Bunnell that included Staly, Lord and a representative from the Flagler County School District. 

The proclamation by Flagler County 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.

WATCH: Flagler County under local state of emergency as Dorian approaches

According to the county, residents should have hurricane shutters and generators in place and ready. Food, fuel, water, medication, pet supplies, critical papers and family comfort supplies should be purchased before the weekend. Porches and patios should be cleared of items that can create a hazard.

Palm Coast urges residents to heed evacuation order

The City of Palm Coast is urging continued preparedness as we get closer to feeling the impacts of Hurricane Dorian. 

It is important for everyone to know their evacuation zone. Residents can check their evacuation zone by visiting https://fullsite.palmcoastgov.com/emergency/evacuation-zones.

Flagler County will be in charge of evacuations. As of noon Monday, Sept. 2, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes have been ordered to evacuate from Zones A, B, and F, and flood prone areas.

All residents and visitors in evacuation Zones A, B, and F, as well as those in low lying areas or mobile homes, should also evacuate at the county’s order. If your evacuation plan is to leave Flagler County, do so now. You do not need to wait for the order.

There are shelters that are open. Bunnell Elementary, located at 305 N. Palmetto, opened at noon Monday, Sept. 2 for the general population and pets. Rymfire Elementary, located at 1425 Rymfire Drive, is open for those with special medical needs who live in zones A, B, F, flood prone areas, and mobile homes, or require electricity for medical needs regardless of zone.

For the evacuation zones A, B, and F, a curfew will go into effect Tuesday at 7 p.m. and last until the storm has passed and officials have given an all clear. If you are outside during the curfew, you could be taken to the county jail by the sheriff’s deputies. 

For questions about evacuations, please contact Flagler County’s Hurricane Call Center -- 386-586-5111 -- which operates 24/7.

The City of Palm Coast’s Customer Service phone line is also operating 24 hours. The phone number is 386-986-2360. 

This is the first year AlertPalmCoast, which is part of AlertFlagler, will be available, which is a no-cost service that provides Palm Coast residents a variety of emergency notifications, such as severe weather, based upon the address you enroll. This service allows you to customize your notifications and choose delivery methods that include phone calls, email, SMS/Text messages, and even through a downloadable app. Click here to sign up.

Residents in Flagler County should refer to “ALERTFlagler” and “ALERTFlaglerBeach.” 

City of Palm Coast urges residents to limit water use if power is lost

The City of Palm Coast would like to remind residents that if they lose electric power they should reduce water consumption as much as possible with the goal of having the least amount of water going down the drain.

The wastewater sewer system can’t move sewage to the treatment plant without electricity, and even with generators, the system will not be operating at full capacity.

It is especially important for residents with PEP tanks (Pretreatment Effluent Pumping System) to drastically decrease water usage if they lose electricity. PEP tanks will not empty into the wastewater system if there is no power. If the tank fills to capacity, there is a risk it could back up into your home.

If power is lost, whether you’re on the gravity sewer system or have a PEP tank, do not do laundry. Flush as infrequently as possible. Put as little water down your sinks and showers as possible.

If your PEP tank alarm goes off, please call Palm Coast Customer Service at 386-986-2360. A crew will be dispatched as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Palm Coast Utility has a comprehensive plan for returning full function back to the wastewater system. With a combination of tank trucks and generators, the city will utilize all efforts to pump down the system as much as possible until such time full power is restored.

Please continue to check the City’s website at www.palmcoastgov.com for updates. The City is also providing information throughout the event on these social media accounts:

Remember: Be calm. Be prepared. Stay informed.

Sandbags

Monday was the last day sandbags were available for Flagler County residents. The distribution ended at 3 p.m.

Palm Coast office closures, garbage collection changes

In response to Hurricane Dorian, city of Palm Coast offices will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 3, and potentially longer depending on how the storm impacts the area. City of Palm Coast offices will also be closed Monday, Sept. 2, in observance of Labor Day, however, the city and staff will be working through the Emergency Operations Center to monitor and respond to Hurricane Dorian throughout the weekend and next week.

Also, the city’s customer service department will have phone lines open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the phone lines will be open for 24 hours until the storm has passed. The customer service phone number is 386-986-2360. Residents can ask about closed city facilities; sand and sandbag locations; trees down; utility, stormwater, and public works issues, garbage questions or anything else that pertains to the city.

Additionally, with tropical storm-force winds expected as early as Monday, garbage collection has been suspended for Monday and Tuesday, and possibly longer depending on the storm’s impact.

Closures and cancellations

Flagler County School officials say they anticipate further evacuations and the need for additional shelter space in the coming days. For that reason, Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager announces schools will remain closed through Thursday, Sept. 5. When it comes to reopening schools and resuming our normal operations, Flagler Schools will continually evaluate and those decisions will be made in a timely manner. 

Flagler County has suspended administrative office services Tuesday and probably into Wednesday, Sept. 4, due to the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Dorian and the response required by county staff. Decisions beyond Wednesday will be made at a later time.

City offices for Flagler Beach and Bunnell are closed Tuesday and Wednesday. They will assess their abilities to re-open later this week as more information is known about the storm. Palm Coast is closing municipal offices Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.

Courthouse operations with the 7th Judicial Circuit are canceled Tuesday and Wednesday. The offices of the Supervisor of Elections are also closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Health-Flagler offices will be closed at least through Thursday.

The library closed at noon Saturday and programs will be canceled. Flagler County Parks and Recreation Department closed campsites and community centers on Sunday to make the facilities available for emergency uses if necessary. The Wickline Senior Center will be closed until further notice for the same reason.

Stay informed

Check for current information on Flagler County’s website, www.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:

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