People living in evacuation zones A and B should spend their Labor Day leaving home, Mayor Lenny Curry announced Sunday evening as Hurricane Dorian continued toward Florida as a formidable Category 5 storm.
The most likely track of the storm keeps it just off the coast, but "precariously close," said National Weather Service meteorologist Angela Enyedi.
She said storm surge along the St. Johns River is forecast to be up to 4 feet and along the Atlantic Coast could be up to 6 feet.
"There will be property damage" in low-lying areas, she said.
Mayor Curry announced shelters would open at 10 a.m. Monday. A list of shelters will be posted at JaxReady.com. Many of them will be in Duval County Public Schools, which remain closed through at least Wednesday.
- Citizens with special medical needs are asked to register with our Emergency Preparedness teams at COJ.net/SpecialMedicalNeeds or 630-CITY. Citizens must pre-register if they plan to stay in a Special Medical Needs Shelter during an emergency and must re-register every year.
- Pet-friendly shelters are available; only household pets including dogs, cats, birds and rabbits are allowed. Residents can call 630-CITY (2489) or visit JaxReady.com for locations and a list of items to bring.
Curry said a ground-soaking nor'easter is expected to move into Northeast Florida Monday. Those evacuating may get wet.
"That's not Dorian. That's a nor'easter," he said. Tropical-storm force winds are expected to arrive behind it by late Tuesday as Dorian is expected to parallel Florida's East Coast just off shore.
Curry said those who choose to ignore the evacuation orders will not face penalties, but he can't guarantee their safety if dangerous flooding rushes in. He recalled the many boat rescues in Jacksonville after Hurricane Irma in 2017 and said, "We don't want that to happen again."
The cities of Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach have temporarily closed the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, meaning no water activities are allowed until conditions are deemed safe. Anyone who sees someone in the water or attempting to go in the water is asked to call 911 immediately.