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Hurricane Irma Recovery Updates For North Central Florida

The Santa Fe River behind Cora and Michael David's High Springs home earlier today. The river usually comes up to rear tree at left, Michael David said, but it is now overtaking the couple's backyard. (Jake Best/WUFT News)
The Santa Fe River behind Cora and Michael David's High Springs home earlier today. The river usually comes up to rear tree at left, Michael David said, but it is now overtaking the couple's backyard. (Jake Best/WUFT News)

Live Blog Hurricane Irma


Original Post


  • Alachua County: closed through Tuesday
  • Clay County: district schools and offices will remain closed through Wednesday, September 13th
  • College of Central Florida: closed Friday and Monday
  • Dixie County: closed Friday and Monday
  • Duval County: early dismissal Thursday and closed Friday
  • Hernando County: closed Thursday and Friday
  • Lake County: early dismissal Friday and closed Monday
  • Levy County: sporting events scheduled for Friday have been moved to Thursday
  • Marion County: closed Friday through Tuesday
  • Osceola County: closed Friday and Monday
  • Pasco-Hernando State College: closed Thursday, Friday and Monday
  • Polk County: closed Friday
  • Putnam County: closed Friday and Monday
  • St. Johns County: closed Friday and Monday
  • University of Florida: campus closed Sunday through Tuesday, classes canceled through Wednesday; home football game against Northern Colorado moved to noon start time instead of 7:30 p.m.
  • Volusia County: schools have revised athletic schedules through Friday; ACT tests scheduled for Saturday at area high schools are cancelled. Schools closed through Wednesday.


  • Alachua County: Two shelters will open starting Friday at 10 a.m.
    1. Alachua County Senior Center (for special needs), 5701 NW 34th Blvd., Gainesville
    2. Easton Newberry Sports Complex (for general population), 24880 NW 16th Ave., Newberry
    3. Waldo Community School (for pets and their people), 14450 NE 148th Ave., Waldo
  • Bradford county: 2 additional general population shelters will be open on Saturday at 6.00 pm

  1. Madison Street Baptist Church, 900 W Madison St., Starke
  2. First Baptist Church, 163 W. Jefferson St., Starke

  • Flagler County: The county may open shelters on Saturday depending on the hurricane's path.
    1. Bunnell Elementary (for general population and pets), 305 N. Palmetto St., Bunnell
    2. Rymfire Elementary (for special needs), 1425 Rymfire Dr., Palm Coast


  • Gilchrist County: Three general population shelters will be open at 10 am on Saturday

  1. Trenton Elementary School (1201 W Wade St., Trenton)
  2. Bell Elementary School (2771 East Bell Ave (NW 10th Ave), Bell)
  3. Bell Health Academy (special need shelter, behind main building of Bell High School. 930 S Main St., Bell)


  • Hernando County: Five shelters are open

  1. Challenger K-8 School of Sciences and Mathematics (13400 Elgin Blvd., Spring Hill, FL 34609. Designated special needs shelter)
  2. D.S. Parrott Middle School (19220 Youth Dr., Brooksville, FL 34601,  Designated pet-friendly shelter)

  3. Explorer K-8 ( 10252 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill, 34608)

  4. Hernando High School (700 Bell Ave., Brooksville, 34601, Brooksville, FL 34601)

  5. Nature Coast Technical High School (4057 California St., Spring Hill, FL 34604)

  • Marion County: The following schools will open as shelters starting Friday at 5 p.m.
    1. Belleview Middle School (for special needs), 10500 SE 36 Ave., Belleview
    2. West Port High School (for special needs), 3733 SW 80 Ave., Ocala
    3. Vanguard High School (pet-friendly shelter), 7 NW 28 St., Ocala
    4. Fort McCoy School (for general population), 16160 NE County Road 315, Fort McCoy
    5. Lake Weir High School (for general population), 10351 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala
    6. North Marion Middle School (for general population), 2085 W. County Road 329, Citra

7. Madison Street Academy (401 NW Mertin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Ocala, Fl. Opens at 7 pm on Friday)

8.  Forest High School (5000 SE Maricamp Rd, Ocala)

9. Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary (4397 SW 95th Street, Ocala)

10. Belleview High School (special needs shelter, 10400 SE 36th Avenue, Belleview)

  • Levy County: The county will have its shelters on standby starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, but they'll be opened only if needed depending on the hurricane's path.
    1. Bronson Elementary, 400 Ishie Ave., Bronson. Anyone with shelter related questions can call 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576. A MANDATORY EVACUATION has been ordered for Levy County residents beginning at 4 p.m. today, September 8, 2017.

  • Putnam County: Several shelters will open starting Saturday at 1 p.m.
    1. Kelly Smith Elementary School (for special needs), 141 Kelley Smith School Road, Palatka
    2. Interlachen Elementary School (for general population), 251 S. State Road 315, Interlachen
    3. Browning-Pearce Elementary School (for general population), 100 Bear Blvd., San Mateo
    4. Middleton-Burney Elementary School (for general population), 1020 Huntington Road, Crescent City
    5. Q.I. Roberts Junior-Senior High School (for general population), 901 State Road 100, Florahome
    6. Ochwilla Elementary School (for general population and pets), 299 N. State Road 21, Hawthorne

Other Closures:

  • All counties: State offices will be closed in all 67 Florida counties on Friday
  • Campgrounds: The following state forests will close campgrounds by Friday at 5 p.m. until further notice:

    • John M. Bethea State Forest
    • Twin Rivers State Forest

    • Cary State Forest
    • Jennings State Forest
    • Ralph E. Simmons State Forest
    • Etoniah Creek State Forest
    • Goethe State Forest
    • Ross Prairie State Forest
    • Welaka State Forest
    • Lake George State Forest

    • Matanzas State Forest
    • Tiger Bay State Forest
    • Seminole State Forest  
    • Withlacoochee State Forest
    • Charles H. Bronson State Forest
    • Little Big Econ State Forest
    • Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
    • Myakka State Forest
    • Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest
    • Picayune Strand State Forest
  • Levy County: 

    • County parks will be closed on Friday (but Shell Mound park will be closed starting Thursday).
    • Libraries will close starting Saturday
  • Marion County:

    • All county government offices and facilities will close at noon on Friday and are expected to stay closed until Tuesday.
    • The Ocala National Forest's trails, campgrounds and concession areas will be closed starting at 5 p.m. on Friday until further notice.
  • City of Ocala: The following locations will be closed Monday:

    • City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave.
    • City of Ocala Customer Service Office (including Utility Billing and Building Department), 301 SE 3rd Ave.
    • City of Ocala Municipal Services Complex
    • Discovery Center, 701 NE Sanchez Ave.
    • All city recreation centers and senior centers
    • All city parks


  • Alachua County:

    • City of Gainesville Public Works, 405 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville
    •  Citizens Field, 1400 NE Eighth Ave., Gainesville
    • Wayside Park, 11855 NW Highway 441, Gainesville
    • 15001 NW 140th St., Alachua
    • Fire Department, 17128 SW Archer Road, Archer
    • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Park, 18800 S. CR 325, Cross Creek
    • Sewage Treatment Plant, 23016 SE 65th Lane, Hawthorne
    • Memorial Park, 17380 NW US Highway 441, High Springs
    • Public Works Compound, 120 NW 260th St., Newberry
    • Water Tower, 4750 Week St., Waldo
    • Fire Department, 1401 SE County Road 234, Windsor
  • Bradford County: pick up on Wednesday and Thursday; 20-bag limit per vehicle

    • Wednesday, Sept. 6:

      •  Heilbron Springs Volunteer Fire Departments, 21412 NW SR 16, Starke
      • Sampson City Volunteer Fire Department, 13641 SW CR 227, Starke
    • Thursday, Sept. 7:

      • City of Starke Purchasing Yard, 601 N. Orange St., Starke (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and while supplies last)
      • Lawtey City Hall, 2793 Lake St., Lawtey (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and while supplies last)
  • Citrus County: limit 15 bags per vehicle (down from 25 bags per vehicle)

    • 4508 S. Grandmarch Ave., Homosassa (near Grover Cleveland Boulevard)
    • 7490 W. Gulf to Lake Highway, Crystal River (near Dan’s Clam Stand)
  • Dixie County:

    • County yard in Cross City
    • Old Town fire station
  • Gilchrist County:

    • Trenton City Park (214 SE 3rd Ave, Trenton, FL)
    • Fanning Springs Fire Department (17651 NW 90th Ct Fanning Springs, FL)
    • Gilchrist County Emergency Operations Center (3250 North U.S. Highway 129, Bell, FL. There is a 10-bag limit and you will be required to fill the bags).
  • Hernando County:

    • Fire Station 2, 3445 Bob Hartung Court, Spring Hill (due to depleted supplies, distribution will be suspended at 4 p.m. on Thursday and will resume once more resources come in on Friday, Sept. 8)
    • Hernando County Department of Public Works, 1525 East Jefferson Street, Brooksville, FL 34601
    • Fire Rescue Station 1, 1479 Parker Avenue, Spring Hill, FL 34606
    • Ridge Manor Community Center, 34240 Cortez Boulevard, Dade City, FL 33523
    • Hernando County Sandbag sites will CLOSE at 6pm or while supplies last. All remaining sandbags are being delivered now.
  • Levy County:

    • Chiefland City Barn, 920 SE 4th St., Chiefland
    • Bronson Town Hall, 650 Oak St., Bronson
    • Old Inglis Police Station, 26 Highway 40 W., Inglis
    • Yankeetown Water Plant, Off Highway 40 in Yankeetown
    • Rosewood Fire Station, 9990 SW 63rd Lane, Rosewood
    • Cedar Key Community Center, 809 6th St., Cedar Key
    • Gulf Hammock Fire Station, 2853 SE County Road 326, Gulf Hammock
    • Empty lot across from Williston Police Department, Southwest Main Street
  • Marion County:

    • North Multi District Office, 8311 N. Highway 441, Ocala,
    • South Multi District Office, 3260 SE 80th St., Ocala
    • Forest District Office, 16000 E. Highway 40, Silver Springs
    • Dunnellon District Office, 19995 SW 86th St., Unit 3, Dunnellon
  • City of Ocala:

    • Watula Avenue in Tuscawilla Park (behind the Reilly Arts Center)
    • Located at the corner of State Road 40 and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., just east of the Hampton Center.
  • Putnam County

    • Baseball field at East River Road and Putnam County Boulevard, East Palatka
    • Chesser Pit, 145 W. Washington St., Interlachen
    • Huntington Pit, 1553 CR 308, Crescent City

Hurricane Preparedness Updates from Governor Scott:

  • Transportation and Public Works

    • FDOT is coordinating with county emergency operations centers directly to coordinate any necessary response actions, including activating traffic counters, providing local evacuation support and providing maintenance of traffic and other assistance.
    • The state is monitoring conditions at all airports and seaports. As of now, there are no closed airports or seaports.
    • Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Tolls will be suspended for the duration of the storm’s impacts to Florida.
    • Real-time traffic information and evacuation routes is available at www.FL511.com

      • FDOT is coordinating with Google's emergency response team to prepare to 'close' roads in Google Maps in real time in the event that Hurricane Irma forces the closure of any roads in the aftermath of the storm. Google Maps are used for Uber and Waze among other directional pplications.
      • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has suspended construction contractor work and prepared key evacuation routes for possible shoulder use.
  • Human Services

    • While the state is working with retail partners to fill grocery store shelves with water and other emergency resources as quickly as possible, it is important to be considerate of neighbors and take only what each family needs to be prepared.
    • Governor Scott has requested federal resources such as disaster tarps, water, baby food supplies, supply trucks, search and rescue personnel and equipment and incident management teams.
    • The state has established local points of contact with mass care organizations and volunteer agencies, including working with the American Red Cross to coordinate sheltering and feeding operations. The American Red Cross has also established a Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) in Orlando and is actively opening shelters.
    • The state is staging mass care supplies such as meals, shelter support trailers and water at the State Logistic Response Center in Orlando for deployments as needed.
    • Food Safety Response Teams are beginning to be placed on standby for recovery assessments.
    • The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has released September Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to current recipients who have not yet received them to assist with Hurricane Irma preparations.

      • Veteran Services

      • The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility. All state veterans’ homes are currently operational.
      • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has closed the Homestead, Naples, Key West, Key Largo and Naples Community Based Outpatient Clinics. The VA Medical Center in Miami and all satellite clinics will close for scheduled and walk-in appointments beginning noon Friday.
      • Veterans from storm-impacted areas who require immediate assistance may contact: VA Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline: 1-800-507-4571.
  • Ways to Help: Volunteer Organizations

    • Volunteer Florida is coordinating with volunteer organizations across the state and has partnered with the American Red Cross to provide shelter operations training to volunteers and AmeriCorps grantees. To volunteer, go to volunteerflorida.org or call 1-800-FL-Help-1.
    • Governor Scott has set a goal of 17,000 volunteers. So far, more than 1,000 state employees and more than 5,700 members of the public have signed up with Red Cross to take the volunteer sheltering training.
    • Volunteer Florida has fielded 250 calls from individuals interested in volunteering.
    • Volunteer Florida is also registering volunteers at volunteerflorida.org. Over 1,900 individuals have registered to volunteer in the last 24 hours.
    • Volunteer Florida has 43 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) on standby to deploy to areas of need. Many of these teams have begun to work in local call centers and prepare for sheltering assistance.
    • American Red Cross teams are coordinating feeding at shelters and have staged 26 tractor trailers at the State Logistics Response Center, 150 trailers at the State Farmers Market, and 100 emergency response vehicles in North Florida.
    • The Salvation Army is on standby with 32 cooking units and two field kitchens stationed in Palm Beach and Miami. They are also coordinating additional supplies awaiting deployment from neighboring states.
    • The Florida Baptist Convention has 35 kitchens on standby ready to feed 35,000 meals a day.
    • Feeding Florida has received nine truckloads of food from Kellogg’s to assist in shelters with 16 additional trucks coming in. They currently have more than 4,000 food boxes on hand capable of sustaining a family of four for five days.
    • Church World Service has hygiene kits and cleanup buckets on standby.
    • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida has showers and trailers available in Pensacola and Lakeland for deployment, as well as supplies such as chainsaws, shovels, safety equipment and 1,200 tarps.
    • Church of Latter Day Saints has chainsaws, tarps, and water on standby.
    • United Methodist Church has hygiene kits and flood buckets on standby.
    • Angel Flight SE has 700 pilots based in the southeastern U.S. available to assist.
    • Church of Scientology is activating volunteers for FL and receiving volunteers and donations in Clearwater.
    • Church of Latter Day Saints is transporting material (primarily tarps, chainsaws, food and water) to Orlando, more on order from Atlanta Bishop’s Storehouse
    • Mission North American Disaster Relief is staging equipment in various locations across the state and have two shower trailers available.
    • UMCOR has 2,500-3000 flood buckets on hand and 3,000 hygiene kits.
    • United Way is arranging enhanced staffing for 211 to support and direct residents.


  • Public Health and Medical Care

    • Under a State of Emergency, individuals are able to refill prescriptions early. All health insurers, managed care organizations, and other entities that are licensed by the Office of Insurance Regulation and provide prescription medication coverage as part of a policy are required to waive time restrictions on prescription medication refills.
    • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with hospitals and healthcare facilities across Florida on evacuation needs. DOH has aided in the evacuation of seven hospitals and five non-hospital health care facilities thus far.
    • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has Disaster Medical Assistance Teams on standby for Florida. These rapid response teams aid in the provision of medical care to those who need it after the storm.
    • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ regional offices have contacted providers and waiver support coordinators to ensure APD customers have a hurricane plan in place and that communities for people with developmental disabilities are preparing for the storm. Two group homes in Monroe County have evacuated. Others are evacuating on Thursday. Many will be going to a special needs shelter at Florida International University.
    • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ Southern Region is on standby to evacuate. One group home has been evacuated from the Central Region. Two more are planning to evacuate this morning. One group home from Broward County has evacuated.
Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org