Nassau County opens shelter due to power outages in Hilliard area

6,000 customers without power at height of outages

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

HILLIARD, Fla. - Nassau County opened a shelter Wednesday afternoon due to winter storm-related power outages in the Hilliard area, the county's emergency manager said.

The shelter opened at 4 p.m. at Hilliard Middle-Senior High School, located at 1 Flashes Avenue, just west of U.S. 301.

Nassau County Emergency Manager Billy Estep asked people going to the shelter to be "self-sufficient" and bring food, medication, extra layers of clothing, blankets and a cot if possible.

Anyone who needs transportation to the shelter can call 904-548-0900.

Nassau County Emergency Management said some pets will be accepted at the shelter, but owners must bring food for their pets. 

RELATED: Cold weather shelters open in Baker, Duval & Nassau counties

Estep said the shelter at the school will serve as a warm roof that residents can stay under overnight if the power is still out. 

Instead of hunkering down at the shelter, some Hilliard residents without power, including Shirley Sinclair, opted to go to a hotel for the night.

"The power lines had ice all over them. Even my garbage can was iced closed. The trees were iced up and by the school was beautiful -- the trees were just white. But then they started breaking. It was one right after the other, constant, just kept breaking and falling, breaking and falling," Sinclair said. "About 2:30 or so when it started warming, the ice started melting and you would have thought we were having an ice storm because they all started coming down and it was like little guns going off, popping and going everywhere."

At the height of Wednesday's outages, more than 6,000 customers in Nassau County were without power.

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