Hurricane Michael: Evacuations Ordered, Schools Closed UPDATES

Oct 8, 2018
Originally published on October 9, 2018 1:08 pm


Michael is now officially a Category 1 hurricane, and is expected to be a Category 3 when it makes landfall Wednesday. Big Bend Counties are beginning to announce school closures, sandbag locations and additional safety information. 

Governor Rick Scott has extended his emergency order to additional counties and is requesting pre-landfall disaster declaration.

Update 1:18 p.m.: Scott says the pre-landfall disaster declaration will, "provide important resources and assistance from the federal government, as well as free up funding sources for emergency protective measures."

It would impact 35 Florida counties – Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwanee, Lafayette, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, Citrus, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union, Bradford and Baker Counties.

Scott has also extended his state of emergency order to include Bradford, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union, and Baker Counties. With these additions, the state of emergency includes 35 Florida counties in total.


  • Hurricane Watch:

    A hurricane watch is now posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida. This includes Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee. Hurricane watches are issued 48 hours before the arrival of tropical-storm-force winds which is when outside preparations become dangerous.

  • Tropical Storm Watch:

    Tropical storm watches are in effect from Suwanee River, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay. Also in a tropical storm watch is a swath of the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border as well as inland areas of southern Alabama and southwest Georgia.

  • Storm Surge Watch

    A storm surge watch is in effect from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay. This means life-threatening storm surge inundation is possible in the watch area within 48 hours.

Gadsden County Emergency Information

Update 10/9/18 1:06 p.m.:   The Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners has issued a mandatory evacuation for all mobile homes in the Midway, Quincy, Havana, Greensboro, Gretna and Chattahoochee city limits and unincorporated areas of the county.

Gadsden County Emergency Management officials urge citizens to prepare now as Hurricane Michael is expected to bring devastating impacts to the gulf coast as a major hurricane as early as Tuesday night.

Evacuation Routes

Gadsden County evacuation routes can be found in the Gadsden County Disaster Survival Guide. The guide is available at all Gadsden County libraries and online at

All Gadsden County Public Schools will be closed until Friday, October 12, 2018.

The Gadsden County sandbag location at the Post Plant Pit, 1090 Post Plant Rd., Quincy, FL has been extended until further notice.

The following shelters will be open Tuesday, October 9 at 12 p.m.

  • Gadsden County High School -  General Population and Special Needs
    • 27001 Blue Star Hwy., Havana, FL 32333 – (850) 539-2863
  • West Gadsden Middle School – General Population
  • 200 Providence Rd., Greensboro, FL 32351 – (850) 442-9500
  • 1210 Kemp Rd., Havana, FL 32333 – (850) 539-2043
  • Havana Magnet School

Shelter attendees will need to bring a form of identification.

Madison County

Schools will be closed Tuesday-Thurday. Friday has yet to be determined.

Bay County

Mandatory evacuations for Flood Zones A, B, and C begin at 6am Tuesday, October 9, 2018. To find out what zone you live in, visit this website: Bay County Sheriff's Office deputies will be patrolling neighborhoods, making announcements about the evacuation.

Bay County District Schools will be closed Tuesday (10/9) and Wednesday (10/10).

Leon County

Leon County Schools, Florida State University and its Panama City campus will be closed Tuesday through the end of the week. Tallahassee Community College and Florida A&M University are also closed.

The Florida State University Lab School is closed Tuesday.

Leon County has opened eight sandbag locations at the following places:

Leon County are opening sandbag locations at the following places:

  • Tekesta Park, at Tekesta Drive and Deer Lake Road in Killearn Lakes (County) 
  • Apalachee Regional Park (Landfill), 7550 Apalachee Parkway (County) 
  • J. Lee Vause, 6024 Old Bainbridge Road (County) 
  • At the intersection of Oak Ridge at Ranchero roads (County) 
  • Winthrop Park, 1601 Mitchell Avenue (City)  
  • James Messer Sports Complex, 2830 Jackson Bluff Road (City) 

Shelters openings have been announced at the following locations:

Leon County Shelter Locations

  • Chiles High School, Pet friendly 7200 Lawton Chiles Lane Tallahassee, FL 32312
  • Godby High School, Pet friendly 1717 W Tharpe Street Tallahassee, FL 32304
  • Lincoln High School, Pet friendly 3838 Trojan Trail Tallahassee, FL 32311
  • Sail High School, Pet friendly 2006 Jackson Bluff Road Tallahassee, FL 32304
  • Fort Braden Elementary School,Pet friendly  15100 Blountstown Highway Tallahassee, FL 32310

Gulf County

Honeyville Community Center will open at 10 AM, Tuesday as a shelter. Those seeking shelter are asked to bring food, water, blankets and comfort items.

Mandatory evacuations ordered for all of Cape San Blas, the Indian Pass area, and WindMark Beach. In the City of Port St. Joe, all areas from St. Joe Bay to Long Avenue are under mandatory evacuation as well. People in mobile homes and low-lying areas have been ordered to evacuate county-wide.

Gulf County Schools will be closed through Wednesday, October 17 due to the hurricane and pre-scheduled fall break.

Jefferson County

Jefferson Somerset K-12 school will be opened as a shelter by county emergency management at noon Tuesday. Schools will be closed Tuesday, with no word yet on when they will re-open. There has been no word yet on evacuations.

Franklin County

Update: 10/09/18: Franklin County is issuing a Mandatory Evacuation for all of Franklin County beginning at 8:00 am on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. This is to include all of Franklin County but especially St George Island, Dog Island, Alligator Point, Bald point and anyone living along the coastline and all low-lying areas. This storm has the potential for life-threatening storm surge. 

Original Story: Schools will close Tuesday through Thursday. 

A Mandatory Evacuation has been issued for all NON-Residents at this time. If an evacuation is ever needed a notification will go out from Emergency Management as well as press releases, Alert Franklin and over social media.

Wakulla County 

Schools closed Tuesday through Friday.

Mandatory Evacuation order for Zone A (coastal and low lying areas)and Mobile Homes and other weak structures the... remainder of Wakulla County will be under a voluntary evacuation order. The evacuation orders will start effective at 8 pm this evening (October 8th). Citizens that are evacuating should evacuate to an area outside of the storm’s path. Neighboring counties will also be in the storm’s path and there for at risk. THERE WILL BE NO SHELTERS OPENED IN WAKULLA COUNTY. This is because all of our shelters are rated safe for Category 2 and under hurricanes and Hurricane Michael is forecast to become a Cat 3 by landfall. Please evacuate to Leon County. The location of those shelters will be provided when they are available.

Toler in Liberty County and Taylor County Elementary School in Taylor County.

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