Clay County residents urged to prepare for Irma
Emergency shelters to open 6 a.m. Saturday
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County Emergency Management has been partially activated at level 2 and closely monitoring the track of powerful Hurricane Irma. They declared a local State of Emergency Thursday morning at 7 a.m.
Officials said full activation of the EOC will start Saturday at 8 a.m. Click here for an updated article for Clay County.
Residents will potentially begin to expect effects from this powerful hurricane as early as Saturday evening. It is strongly encouraged that residents take the storm seriously and prepare themselves and their families for the possibility of a near or direct strike from Irma.
Have a plan
Take the time now to prepare a disaster kit by stocking up on essential supplies that you and your family would need including food, water, medications, medical devices and other essentials.
Also, ensure that your disaster plan is ready. Decide if you plan on staying home, going to a family or friend’s house or to a local shelter. Remember that shelters are refuges of last resort and are not comfortable. Individuals and families who report to any shelter are responsible for bringing their own food, bedding, medication, multiple changes of clothing and other essentials.
Officials are asking St. Johns County residents to take time to make sure that your NOAA weather radio is operational. The programming numbers for the NOAA weather radios are as follows:
- Northern Clay County -- Jacksonville transmitter 162.550
- Central Clay County -- Gainesville transmitter 162.475
- Southern Clay County -- Palatka transmitter 162.425
Be sure to communicate your disaster plan to family and friends.
Evacuations will begin for zones A, B, C and residents in mobile homes at 6 a.m. Saturday. The evacuation is also extended to people living in low-lying areas.
Clay County orders evacuations by letter: A, B, C and D. If you are unsure of what evacuation zone you live in or wish to register for emergency alerts on your phone or mobile device, visit: alert.claycountygov.com. Remember that if you reside in a mobile home, you automatically live in an evacuation zone.
If you plan to leave the area, please consider using the Florida511 website, app and social media to be informed on traffic on major roadways.
Sandbags will be made available to county residents Thursday at the following locations:
The Clay County Special Needs Shelter will open Saturday at 8 a.m. at Lake Asbury Junior High, 2851 Sandridge Rd, Green Cove Springs. The shelter is for Clay County special needs registered clients only.
Clay County’s General Population Shelters open Saturday at 9 a.m. at the following locations;
- Clay High School -- 2025 FL-16, Green Cove Springs
- Orange Park High School -- 2300 Kingsley Ave, Orange Park. Pets allowed.
- Wilkinson Elementary School -- 4965 Co Rd 218, Middleburg
- Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School -- 900 Orchid Ave, Keystone Heights. Pets allowed.
If you plan to go to a shelter, bring your own supplies, food, water and limited personal comforts. There will be no beds and limited space to accommodate.
The following are suggested items to bring:
- Clothing and bedding
- Personal items
- First-aid supplies
- Important papers
- Miscellaneous items like games, toys, battery powered radios, flashlights, batteries
- If you bring a pet to the pet shelter, please bring a crate, food and water for your pet. You must register your pet at alert.claycountygov.com to go to a shelter that allows pets.
Clay County District Schools and district offices will close on Friday in an effort to allow staff and families to prepare for Hurricane Irma. All schools and district offices will remain closed through Monday for post hurricane assessment and readiness for school opening.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY: Latest Hurricane Irma info for Jacksonville | Jacksonville's beaches | St. Johns County | Clay County | Nassau County | Flagler County | Putnam County | Inland First Coast counties | Georgia counties
All afterschool activities scheduled for Friday and all ACT Assessment sites scheduled for Saturday have been canceled.
Clay County has canceled open houses set for Thursday, Monday and Tuesday. They will be rescheduled. The College and Career Night scheduled for Thursday at Clay High School has been canceled and will be held next school year.
The district has also changed the schedule for its high school football games:
- Clay High at Bartram -- 7:30 p.m. Thursday
- JV game moved to Bartram -- 5 p.m. Thursday
- Westside at Ridgeview -- 6 p.m. Thursday
- JV game canceled
- Bradford at Keystone Heights -- 6 p.m. Thursday
- JV game canceled
- Oakleaf -- BYE
- JV game canceled
- Orange Park at Atlantic Coast -- 6 p.m. Thursday
- JV game canceled
- Middleburg at Fleming Island -- 6 p.m. Thursday
- JV game canceled - MHS & FIH
The Clay County School Board has also canceled Thursday's scheduled board meeting and will hold two meetings in September to make up for the cancellation.
Clay Electric begins to implement emergency operations plan
Clay Electric Cooperative is in the process of implementing its emergency operations plan due to the threat posed to its 14-county service area by powerful Hurricane Irma.
Clay Electric General Manager and CEO Ricky Davis met with Chief Operating Officer Frank Holmes on Tuesday morning to discuss the logistics of bringing in outside crews to help Clay restore service if Irma causes extensive outages in North Florida.
“These steps are to ensure we remain ahead of the curve because this storm’s projected path will obviously affect multiple utilities, causing outside resources to be limited,” Davis said. “With potential statewide damages, and knowing many contract crews remain in Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey, we want to be proactive in securing the necessary resources to restore power to our members as efficiently and safely as possible.”
Ricky Davis and Frank Holmes will meet on a regular basis throughout the week as the cooperative’s restoration planning continues.
“What we know for certain at this point is Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous hurricane and it has the potential to affect the entire state. What we don’t know is how strong this system will be when it impacts our service area, or if the path will change slightly and spare North Florida,” Davis said.
“I want Clay Electric to be as prepared as possible in advance,” Davis added. “We’ll be monitoring this situation and making definitive preparations as we learn more about where this storm is headed.”
Clay Electric officials said downed trees and power lines could cause extensive power outages. Residents are asked to be prepared to be without power for up to a week.
Members are encouraged to visit Clay Electric’s Storm Center, which features helpful planning information, including the Hurricane Preparedness Guide, information on generator safety, supply checklists, shelter listings and answers to frequently asked questions.
Clay Electric offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
The Clay County Courthouse and all Clerk of the Circuit Court branch offices in Clay County will be closed on Friday and also on Monday. Court dates and services originally scheduled for these dates are impacted and have been rescheduled. Please note the following updates:
- Citizens who received jury summons for Monday, September 11th may disregard the summons (they are null and void). The Clerk of Court will issue new jury summons for any future trials.
- Civil Traffic Court appearances originally planned for Friday, September 8th has been rescheduled for the end of the month on Friday, September 29th. (Judge Collins)
- Civil Court appearances planned for Monday, September 11th and for Tuesday, September 12th have been rescheduled. Please contact Kathryn Claxton at 904-529-3772 with any questions regarding new dates and times. (Judge Wilkinson)
- Circuit Felony Court appearances originally planned for Monday, September 11th have been rescheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 14th. Those scheduled for Tuesday, September 12th have been rescheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 13th. (Judge Skinner)
- Criminal Felony Court appearances originally planned for Monday, September 11th have been moved to Thursday, September 14th at 9:00 a.m. (Judge Sharrit)
- Misdemeanor Court appearances originally planned for Monday, September 11th have been rescheduled for Monday, September 25th at 9:30 a.m. (Judge Mobley).
- Juvenile Dependency court appearances originally planned for Tuesday, September 12th have been rescheduled for Thursday, September 14th at 1:30 p.m. (Judge Skinner)
- Small Claims Court pretrial appearances originally planned for Tuesday, September 12th may also be affected/rescheduled. If it is announced, due to the impact of the storm, that the Clay County Courthouse will be closed on Tuesday as well next week, the Clerk’s Office will send out new notices on all cases by mail. If the courthouse reopens on Tuesday, Small Claims Court will be conducted as planned. (Judge Collins and Judge Mobley)
- Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park closed until further notice
Additional office closure/opening details:
- The Clerk’s Office branch located in Middleburg will be closed on Tuesday, September 12th.
- The Clerk’s Office branch located in Keystone Heights will be closed on Wednesday, September 13th.
- The Clerk’s Office main offices located in the Clay County Courthouse and the Clerk’s Office Orange Park branch will be open Tuesday through Friday of next week unless otherwise notified.
There is no change expected for Juvenile Court (will still be held on 9/13/17) nor for Child Support Court (will still be held on 9/14/17).
Visit www.clayclerk.com regularly to access information regarding court dates/calendars.
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