Nassau County sheriff reminds residents to ‘know your zone’ as Nicole triggers evacuation order for some areas

Storm shelter opening to general public and people with special needs

Nassau Sheriff Bill Leeper during an EOC briefing on Nov. 9, 2022.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Speaking during an afternoon news conference Wednesday, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said residents in Zone A and D remain under an evacuation order ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole.

Zone A includes Amelia Island’s beaches and low areas, and Zone D includes Nassauville, Blackrock, Pirates Wood and Chester.

“We are not going to come drag you out of your house,” Leeper said. “If you’re in the evacuation zone and you don’t leave, it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself.”

He reminded residents that schools in the district will be closed Thursday, as well as county government offices. County offices and schools will remain closed Friday as they were scheduled to be for Veterans Day.

Leeper said Nassau County on Wednesday had already begun experiencing dangerous rip currents and that double red flags are placed on the beaches, indicating the water is closed to the public.

The interim director for Nassau County Emergency Management said Wednesday that storm surge flooding is estimated to be between three and five feet along the coastal region and low-lying areas of Nassau County. Tornadoes are a possibility.

“What that means is, if you experienced flooding or any water concerns during Hurricane Matthew or Ian, that may replicate itself in terms of impacts in this storm,” the spokesperson said.

A shelter was opened at the Callahan multi-use facility located at 543350 US Highway 1 in Callahan. The shelter is for both general population and those with special needs. Residents should bring their ID, insurance card, emergency contacts and primary care provider information. Transportation can be provided by contacting the Emergency Operations call center at 904-548-0900.