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Evacuations ordered in Clay, St. Johns and Nassau counties

Eastbound traffic crowds Interstate 4 as people evacuate in preparation for Hurricane Ian on Tuesday.
Phelan M. Ebenhack
/
AP
Eastbound traffic crowds Interstate 4 as people evacuate in preparation for Hurricane Ian on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Clay, St. Johns and Nassau counties as Hurricane Ian approaches.

Clay County

Evacuation orders have been issued for Evacuation Zones A, B, C and the Black Creek North and South Prong Zones. All mobile and manufactured homes or other vulnerable housing are considered Zone A regardless of where they are in the county.

To find your evacuation zone, go to http://public.claycountygov.com/evaczone/. If the address is not in an evacuation zone, it will be indicated as none.

Evacuation shelters will open Wednesday.

A special needs shelter will open at 8 a.m.: Lake Asbury Junior High School, 2851 Sandridge Road in Green Cove Springs.

General Population shelters will open at 3 p.m.:

  • Keystone Heights High School — pet friendly, 900 S.W. Orchid, Keystone Heights.
  • Orange Park High School — pet friendly, 2300 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park.
  • Clay High School — 2025 W. State Road 16, Green Cove Springs
  • Wilkinson Elementary School — 4965 County Road 218W, Middleburg.

Only dogs, cats, rodents (such as hamsters and gerbils), rabbits and birds are allowed, and the Americans with Disabilities Act allows a miniature horse, as long as it provided a service connected to the owner’s disability.
Go to the Clay County website for more information.

Nassau County

Nassau County announced evacuation orders for Zones A and D as of 8 a.m. Wednesday. That includes part of Amelia Island, Nassauville and O’Neill. An evacuation map is available here.

The county said the length of the evacuation will depend on when it is safe to return. Residents are advised to have identification when they return, including home address.

Two shelters are open:

  • Callahan Middle School, 450121 Old Dixie Highway, Callahan.
  • Hilliard Middle-Senior High School, 1 Flashes Ave., Hilliard.

St. Johns County

Residents of Zones A, B and F, south of County Road 214, are ordered to evacuate effective at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Zone B includes all of St. Augustine. Zones A and B cover the entire 42 miles of coastline.

No evacuations had been ordered in Jacksonville as of Tuesday afternoon. Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted that a decision will be made Wednesday morning about ordering evacuations in Zone A. "Please be prepared for this possible scenario," he said.

Hurricane shelters in St. Johns County will open at noon Wednesday, County Administrator Hunter Conrad said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. They are:

  • Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Lane (special needs). 
  • Southwoods Elementary, 4750 State Road 206 (pet friendly).
  • Pedro Menendez High School, 600 State Road 206 West (general population).

Sheriff Robert Hardwick advised residents that bridges to the barrier islands could be closed as the storm arrives. Authorities have the power to close bridges when sustained winds reach 45 mph or law enforcement believes there is a public safety concern.
People who evacuate should plan to be gone 72 hours or more, Hardwick said.

Conrad said county officials are most concerned about the 5-foot storm surge and 15 inches of rain that are forecast. He encouraged people to leave immediately if they plan to flee the area.

For evacuation information, including route maps and evacuation zones, go to www.sjcfl.us/hurricane

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at rroguski@wjct.org or on Twitter, @rroguski.