Putnam County closing schools, opening shelters, recommending evacuations due to Nicole

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Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, Putnam County is currently recommending evacuations for Zone F, which includes Sportsmans Harbor, Dunns Creek, Federal Point and other locations that experienced flooding during Hurricane Ian, according to Putnam County Department of Emergency Services’ Emergency Management Division.

All schools in Putnam County will be closed on Thursday, and local emergency operations and district officials have made the decision to dismiss students one hour early Wednesday, Nov. 9. All after-school activities and athletics are canceled at the end of the school day Wednesday.

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Please prepare to pick your child up from school or be at the bus stop one hour early. Please know students who are in third grade or lower will not be released at the bus stop without a parent or guardian present. Those students will be returned to their school for supervision until someone can pick them up. We recognize this may be burdensome for many families, and appreciate your cooperation as we are working to staff and open shelters for our community members.

Friday is a scheduled holiday for Veterans Day. The Putnam County School District said it expects to have all schools open for students on Monday.

County offices will be closing at 3 p.m. Wednesday and will remain closed until Monday.

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According to county emergency management officials, the following shelters will be open for the community beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m.:

  • Ochwilla Elementary School at 299 State Road 21 in Hawthorne (This is the county’s pet-friendly shelter.)
  • Kelley Smith Elementary School at 141 Kelly Smith School Road in Palatka (This is the special needs shelter. Residents must be registered with the Putnam County Department of Health. To apply for registration, residents can visit snr.putnam-fl.com.)
  • Browning-Pearce Elementary School at 100 Marvick St. in San Mateo
  • Middleton-Burney Elementary School at 1020 Huntington Road in Crescent City

The Emergency Operations Center Call Center will begin operating at 8 a.m. Wednesday. This is for residents who wish to receive more information in regards to storm activities or to make storm-related reports. The phone number is 386-329-1904.

For ongoing information about the storm and shelters, follow Putnam County Emergency Management on Facebook or visit EOC.Putnam-fl.com.