Shelters remain open in inland counties after Hurricane Irma

Curfew issued for Bradford County

File image

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Inland counties activated their emergency operations centers ahead of Hurricane Irma. Scroll down for the latest status of each county.

Alachua County

To view a complete list of shelters in Alachua County -- including addresses, shelter type and an interactive map -- click here.

Residents are encouraged to stay informed about major storm conditions by following Alachua County on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the county's press releases.

The 311 Rumor Control phone number is now active (This is a call in, not text, phone number). Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Hurricane Irma. For life threatening emergencies, call 911. For emergencies that are not life-threatening, call 352-955-1818.

Due to Hurricane Irma, all Alachua County Public Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday. Only essential ACPS personnel should report to work on Tuesday, and only if they can do so safely, the school district said.

University of Florida is currently scheduled to reopen and resume normal operations on Wednesday, Sept. 13. However, due to the current forecast of Hurricane Irma, classes at UF will not be held through Wednesday. The university will continue to evaluate campus and community conditions, providing any scheduling updates as needed. After the storm passes, UF will be providing more information for those who have particular hardships and challenges. As announced, the university will be closed through Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The university will open an emergency shelter inside the Steinbrenner Hall (Building 0110) at 10 a.m. Sunday for affiliated members of the UF community and their families. Entrance requires an active UF affiliation and Gator1 ID. Non-affiliated people must be accompanied by a sponsoring individual with a valid Gator1 ID at all times.

  • No pets or comfort animals will be allowed into the shelter, only ADA service animals are permitted -- Alachua County offers two pet-friendly shelters
  • Each individual will be allocated 20 square feet of personal space
  • Please provide your own bedding (i.e. pillows, blankets, sheets, air mattresses etc.).
  • Basic food options will be provided. If you have dietary restrictions, please bring your own food
  • Don't forget your chargers for electronic devices, and head phones/ear buds for video and audio use
  • Please bring your own medicines and/or medical supplies
  • No re-entry will be allowed after exiting the shelter

A representative from the Counseling and Wellness Center and the Student Health Care Center will be available at the emergency shelter. UF Police Department will provide security. The emergency shelter will remain open until the tropical storm-force winds from Irma subside, and close when outside conditions are deemed safe by public safety officials. Additional shelters could be opened, depending on demand. Updates will be posted on

The following parks are closed until further notice:

  • Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park 
  • Dudley Farm Historic State Park 
  • Gainesville-to-Hawthorne State Trail 
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park 
  • River Rise Preserve State Park 
  • O'Leno State Park 

The Florida Highway Patrol implemented a limited emergency shoulder use plan for Hurricane Irma evacuations on I-75 at Wildwood to the Georgia state line. 

Alachua County Residents with questions about Hurricane Irma are asked to please call the county's Rumor Control line at 311 or 352-264-6557. Click here to visit the Alachua County Emergency Management's website. 

Baker County

Baker County schools will be closed through Tuesday. Decisions regarding school openings for Tuesday will be made on Monday.

Baker County offices will be closed Friday and Monday.

Shelters opened Friday. The general population shelter will be at Macclenny Elementary School, located at One Wild Kitten Dr. in Macclenny. The special needs shelter will be at Ed Fraser Hospital located at 159 N 3rd St. in Macclenny.  

You will need identification to register at the shelter. Please bring any items you may need while staying in the shelter -- blankets, food, water, clothing, etc. -- for at least 3 days.

Emergency Management encourages citizens to sign up for emergency alerts at:

Bradford County

A countywide curfew was issued Sunday due to flooded roads. The curfew begins at 12 p.m. Sunday and runs through Monday at 8 p.m. Only emergency vehicles, utility vehicles and personnel working to restore services affected by the storm should be on the roads during the curfew. 

The county opened three emergency shelters at 6 p.m. Saturday for people who need a place to evacuate, and at 7:45 p.m., the county said Stark Elementary School was full for the general population but still has room for people with special needs. The two remaining shelters are:

  • Madison Street Baptist Church, 900 W. Madison Street, Starke
  • First Baptist Church, 163 W. Jefferson Street, Starke

Participants should bring blankets, pillows, snacks for Saturday evening through the rest of the stay, quiet games, books, puzzles and other activities to make the stay more pleasant.

Bradford County school are closed Friday, Monday and Tuesday. School officials said they will make further decisions once the storm passes and they can assess campus safety. 

  • The Varsity Football game scheduled to be a home game against Keystone for Friday night was changed to a Thursday night game in Keystone. The game began at 6 p.m.
  • The JV football game scheduled for Thursday night in Keystone has been canceled.
  • All Bradford Middle and Bradford High cross country and volleyball matches scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday have been canceled. 

Starke has also implemented a travel curfew from 8 p.m. Sunday until 8 p.m. Monday. Only emergency vehicles, utility vehicles and personnel working to restore services affected by the storm should be on the roads of the city during these 24 hours. The Starke Police Department will be enforcing this curfew as necessary.  It is anticipated that law enforcement, utility crews and related government services will be extremely busy during these hours and unnecessary travel during the storm will exacerbate their workload and possibly endanger the personnel. All residents are encouraged to avoid any non-emergency travel through the city during the prescribed 24 hours.

Columbia County

Approximately, 30,493 structures (i.e. homes, business, etc.) are without power in Columbia County. Contact your power company to report power outages. Columbia County power providers and phone numbers are listed below.  Please be patient as crews are working non-stop around the clock to get everyone restored as soon as possible.

  • Clay Electric: 386.752.7447 or at
  • Suwannee Valley Electric: 800.752.0025
  • Florida Power & Light: 800.4OUTAGE or 800.468.8243
  • Duke: 800.769.3766

Important shelter updates and reminders

  • Shelter Updates: Shelter populations continue to rise. At this time, general shelters are hosting 584 evacuees, and special needs shelters are hosting 84 evacuees. Evacuees consist of local and out-of-area individuals. Eight hurricane shelters are active. Shelter locations and updates below:
    • *Special Needs Only* South Columbia-Ft. White Community Center, 17579 SW State Road 47, Fort White, FL 32038
    • NOW OPEN Deep Creek Community Center, 11934 N US Highway 441, Lake City, FL 32055
    • NOW OPEN Richardson Community Center, 255 NE Coach Anders Ln, Lake City, FL 32055
    • *AT CAPACITY* *SPECIAL NEEDS ONLY SHELTER* Westside Elementary School, 1956 Co Rd 252B, Lake City, FL 32024
    • NOW OPEN Ft. White High School, 17828 FL-47, Fort White, FL 32038
    • *AT CAPACITY* Winfield Community Center, 1324 N W Winfield St, Lake City, FL 32055
    • NOW OPEN Richardson Sixth Grade Academy, 646 SE Pennsylvania St, Lake City, FL 32055
    • NOW OPEN Pinemount Elementary School, 324 S W Gabriel Pl, Lake City, FL 32024


  • Roads: There is no mandatory curfew, however, Columbia County residents and evacuees are requested to limit travel for emergency situations and absolute necessity for safety purposes as Hurricane Irma approaches.
  • Volunteers: Volunteers are needed for shelter operations in Columbia County. A simple background check to confirm a non-violent past is all that is needed.  Please call 386.758.1125 ext. 1596 and ext. 1614 to register.
  • Donations: Residents that would like to donate resources: water, non-perishable food, baby wipes, new blankets or new bedding for shelters please call 386.758.1125 ext. 1596 or ext. 1614 to coordinate drop-off and location need.
  • Schools:  Columbia County Schools will be closed Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12.
  • Citizen Information Center (CIC):  The Columbia County Citizen Information Center (CIC) opened at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, and remain open 24/7 throughout the weekend and Monday. The hotline number is 386-719-7530.
  • Interstate I-75: The southbound lane of I-75 has NOT transitioned to northbound lanes.  All lanes remain in normal operating directions.
  • Waste Pick-up: The Columbia County Landfill will be closed Monday, September 11, and per Waste Pro there will be no garbage collection on Monday.  Waste collection will be completed one day behind normal schedule. The landfill will be open the following Saturday, September 16.
  • Florida Gateway College: All colleges be closed on Friday September 8 through Tuesday, September 12 due to the circumstances surrounding Hurricane Irma. Florida Gateway College expects to be open on Wednesday, September 13.
  • Local Government Agencies: Columbia County Board of County Commission non-essential offices will be closed Monday, September 11.
  • Evacuees: Please be cognizant of evacuees from other parts of Florida.  Traffic in Columbia County on interstates, state roads, and local roads has increased substantially.  Please use caution and allow plenty of time to travel to your desired location.

Columbia County will provide an update as additional information becomes available.

Union County

The Union County Sheriff's Office said the Emergency Operations Center was at full activation.

The Union County High School opened as a shelter Saturday. This is not an animal-friendly shelter. The closest pet-friendly shelter is in Alachua County.

At this time, all Union County schools will be closed this Monday and Tuesday due to pending storm-related weather. 

The Union County Sheriff’s Office can always be reached for non-emergency at 386-496-2501.