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Hurricane Irma: Mandatory Evacuations, Shelters Announced For First Coast

red flags at the beach near Jacksonville
David Luckin

This post will be updated with the latest information on evacuations, shelters and closures for the First Coast. 

Evacuation Info

Duval County

Duval is requiring mandatory evacuations in Zones A and B, mobile homes and low-lying areas as of Friday morning, affecting about 250,000 residents. 

Look up a house's evacuation zone at

Officials say everyone should be wherever they plan to ride out the storm by 8 p.m. Saturday. 

Clay County residents who live in Flood Zones A, B, and C are under a mandatory evacuation order.  The order also includes anyone who lives in a mobile home, regardless of zone. Find our your zone at

St. Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation order with a deadline of 6 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, for Evacuation Zones A and B, which includes the entire City of St. Augustine, the Town of Hastings, and those living on waterfront property, in boats, RVs, or mobile homes throughout St. Johns County.

Look up a house's evacuation zone here.

Residents who are able to evacuate and are not utilizing a St. Johns County shelter should begin evacuating as soon as possible prior to Saturday in order to avoid traffic congestion.

Nassau County has ordered mandatory evacuations for people in Zones A, C and F beginning Friday at 6 p.m..

See which zone you live in on this map.

Nassau County Emergency managers say they’ll make the decision about closing the Shave Bridge when sustained tropical-force winds reach 35 mph.


Duval County General Population Shelters:

Location                                              Address                                            Pets

Landmark Middle School                    101 Kernan Blvd N (32225)                Yes

Twin Lakes Elementary                      8000 Point Meadows Drive (32256)  

Chimney Lakes Elementary               9353 Staples Mill Drive  (32244)        Yes

Mandarin Middle School                     5100 Hood Road  (32257)                  Yes

Oceanway Elementary                       1255 Gillespie Ave  (32218)              

Abess Park Elementary                      12731 Abess Blvd  (32225)               

Legends Center.                                   5130 Soutel Drive  (32208)                 Yes

As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the Legends Center had reached capacity. 

Andrew Robinson                               101 W. 12th Street  (32206)               

Arlington Middle School                      8141 Lone Star Road (32211)           

Special Needs Shelters

Legends Center                                5130 Soutel Drive (32208)                  Yes

As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the Legends Center had reached capacity. 

Atlantic Coast High School                 9735 R.G. Skinner Pkwy  (32256)     Yes

Oceanway Middle                               143 Oceanway Ave  (32218)            

Enterprise Elementary                        8085 Old Middleburg Rd (32222)      

“If you’re in those evacuation Zones A or B and you can’t leave for whatever reason, know that there are shelters that you’ll have identified and you can begin moving there on Friday,” the mayor said.

For information about Duval County evacuation shelters, such as what to bring with you, to register for our Special Needs Shelters, or to pre- arrange for transportation to an evacuation shelter, visit or call 630-CITY (630-2489).

Clay County’s shelter for people with special needs at Lake Asbury Junior High in Green Cove Springs is at capacity.  

The county will open a second special needs shelter at 1:00 pm Sunday at Thrasher-Horne Center,283 College Drive, Orange Park, FL 32065. It’s only for those who have registered with the county.

Four general population shelters open:

  • Orange Park High School, 2300 Kingsley Ave, Orange Park, FL 32073  (allows pets, but must be registered on
  • Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School, 900 Orchid Ave, Keystone Heights, FL 32656 (allows pets, but must be registered on
  • Wilkinson Elementary School, 4965 Co Rd 218, Middleburg, FL 32068
  • Clay High School, 2025 FL-16, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

?Note: Pet owners must crate their animals when going to pet-friendly shelters. Some area pet supply stores have limited amounts of crates left. 
St. Johns County The following shelters are open to the public. The county is prepared to open additional shelters as needed. Residents can call 904-824-5550 for more information:

  • Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Ln., St. Augustine (Special needs)
  • Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Ln., St. Augustine (Pet-friendly)
  • Southwoods Elementary School, 4750 SR 206 W., Elkton, FL (Pet Friendly)
  • Pedro Menendez High School, 600 SR 206 W., St. Augustine (General population) As of 9 a.m. Sunday, Pedro Menendez High had reached capacity.  People without pets or special needs are urged to seek shelter at Bartram Trail High or Mill Creek Elementary.
  • Bartram Trail High School, 7399 Longleaf Pine Pkwy., St. Johns (General population)
  • Mill Creek Elementary School, 3750 International Golf Pkwy., St. Augustine (General population) 

Nassau County will open five shelters at 6 p.m. Friday: 

• Bryceville Elementary - capacity 125
• Callahan Intermediate - capacity 325
• Callahan Middle- capacity 528 Pet friendly
• Hillard Elementary- capacity 325
• Hillard Middle/Senior capacity 155 Pet friendly
School Closures

Duval County Public Schools:

All schools and offices closed and all after-school activities and Extended Day care canceled on Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12. 

Clay County Schools:

Schools and district offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12. 

St. Johns County Schools:

Schools and district offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12. 

Baker County Schools:

Baker County Public Schools will be closed Monday, Sept. 11.

Nassau County Schools:

Schools and district offices will be closed Monday Sept. 11. 

In Southeast Georgia, Camden County Public Schools will be closed Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12. All official announcements regarding schools will be made on Camden County Schools website and Facebook page, through SchoolMessenger automated calls, as well as on local radio stations KBAY 106.3 and WECC 89.3.

University of North Florida:

Classes, most events and non-essential operations are canceled Friday, Sept. 8, through Tuesday Sept. 12. The cancellation also includes all online classes. Normal operations will resume on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Jacksonville University:

The university will be closed starting Friday, Sept. 8, with plans to resume normal operations on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Any classes, activities, or events that were scheduled to be held on campus between Sept. 8 and Sept. 12 have been canceled.

Florida State College at Jacksonville:

All FSCJ campuses and centers are closed as of Friday, Sept. 8, through Tuesday, Sept. 12. They are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 13. 

St. Johns River State College:

Campuses are closed as of Friday, Sept. 8, and remain closed until further notice.

Edward Waters College:

College will be closed for all activities beginning Friday, Sept. 8, with plans to resume normal operations Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Flagler College:

Classes are canceled Thursday Sept. 7, through Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Other Closures

Naval Air Station Jacksonville is closed to non-essential personnel beginning at noon on Saturday, Sept. 9. Only mission-essential personnel will have access to the base. Monday and Tuesday will be considered days of administrative leave for all personnel (active duty and civilian) assigned to the station.

Naval Station Mayport's Main Gate will close at 6 p.m. Sunday. All personnel are advised to shelter in place until noon Monday.

Administrative offices for St. Johns County, the City of St. Augustine, and the City of St. Augustine Beach will be closed Monday, Sept. 11. Operational decisions beyond Monday will be determined based on weather conditions.

In addition, the city’s annual Ceremony of Remembrance for 9/11 and the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11, have been cancelled. The regular meeting of the Code Enforcement, Adjustments and Appeals Board (CEAAB) scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12, has also been canceled.

All Jacksonville Public Library locations are closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8, 9 and 10.

The Osceola National Forest will close trails, campgrounds and recreation areas to the public on Friday at 5 p.m. until further notice. In addition, the Osceola ranger district office will be closed Monday and reopen at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 12. 

Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is closed beginning Friday, Sept. 8, until further notice.

The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast will close all branches all day from Saturday to Monday, and plan to open branches at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, depending on the impact of Irma. 

The following programs/events have been canceled:

YMCA Before and Afterschool Programs in Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns County are canceled on Friday (Sept. 8) and Monday (Sept. 11).

All Youth Sports programs scheduled for this weekend (Sept. 9-10) have been canceled.

The McArthur Family YMCA Kids Tri has been postponed to Friday, Sept. 22. Registration has been extended. Contact the McArthur Y for more details.

The St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier will close Friday, Sept. 8, and will remain closed throughout the duration of the storm. All St. Johns County beaches are also closed to vehicles.

Jacksonville Transportation Authority

JTA buses are operating on a Saturday schedule until midnight. JTA fixed route bus service will then be suspended and expected to resume on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The St. Johns River Ferry and the Skyway will remain closed until further notice.

Beaches evacuations will continue throughout the weekend (weather permitting).  Residents with transportation needs should proceed to one of the following pickup locations at the beaches:

  • Fletcher High School: 700 Seagate Avenue, Neptune Beach, FL 32266
  • Mayport Middle School: 2600 Mayport Road, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
  • Jacksonville Beach Elementary: 315 South Tenth Street, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

JTA “Evacuation buses” are available to transport customers to designated shelters from these locations.  
Customers requiring special needs transportation to a shelter should call (904) 630-CITY.

JTA’s customer service line is open today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The hotline will open at 8 a.m. Sunday and remain open throughout Sunday night and into Monday to assist customers.


St. Augustine’s Sing Out Loud Festival scheduled for Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 10. The rest of the Sing Out Loud events set for Sept. 15 through Sept. 17 and Sept. 22 through Sept. 24 are scheduled to continue as planned. For updates regarding the Sing Out Loud Festival, please visit


For information about Duval County evacuation shelters, such as what to bring with you, to register for our Special Needs Shelters, or to pre- arrange for transportation to an evacuation shelter, visit or call 630-CITY (630-2489)

St. Johns County residents with questions regarding Hurricane Irma are encouraged to call the St. Johns County Emergency Operations hotline at 904.824.5550 or visit for more information.

St. Johns County has activated a hotline for residents and business owners with concerns regarding property and structural damage due to Hurricane Irma. If you have storm-related structural damage or permitting questions, call the St. Johns County Building Services Structural Hotline at 904-827-6836.

This story will be updated.









Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP
Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.