With Hurricane Irma already slamming islands in the Caribbean and moving closer to Florida, counties in South Florida have begun making preparations and Governor Rick Scott already declared a State of Emergency. Broward County has already issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents east of Federal Highway and in low-lying areas, and residents in mobile homes, starting on Thursday. It’s important for residents of Fort Lauderdale and the rest of Broward County to familiarize yourself with the evacuation zones and where shelters are located.
UPDATE: Scroll below for more shelters added. For the most up-to-date information, follow the Broward County government Twitter page.
The 8:00 a.m. ET Saturday National Hurricane Center public advisory reports that the storm has maximum sustained winds at 130 mph and it about 200 miles south of Miami. It is moving at 12 mph and more hurricane warnings and watches were issued. A hurricane warning and storm surge warning is in effect for the majority of the Florida peninsula coast, including Broward County’s coastline.
Local10 reports that Pompano Beach High School is closed, and will no longer accept evacuees. Residents who were planning to go there are now urged to go to Lyons Creek Middle school at 4333 Sol Press Boulevard, Coconut Creek.
Classes have already been cancelled there for Thursday and Friday.
The latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, released at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, reports that Hurricane Irma is still a category 5 storm. Its maximum sustained wind is still at 175 mph. The latest map shows the hurricane reaching South Florida by late Saturday or early Sunday.
“We do expect to have some impact from the storm, beginning Friday,” Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said during a press conference on Tuesday, reports CBS Miami. She urged residents to familiarize themselves with the evacuation zones map and what shelter to go to. However, she added that it would be better to stay with family outside the evacuation zones if possible.
“If you live in an evacuation zone, determine when and where you will evacuate to,” Sharief said. “Going to stay with family outside the evacuation zone is the best choice since shelters only provide for vacant needs.”
The Sun-Sentinel reports that those in mobile homes and low-lying areas have to evacuate on Thursday. “If you live east of Federal Highway, you want to evacuate. This storm will have significant impacts to South Florida,” Sheriff Scott Israel said. Fourteen shelters will open at noon Thursday.
For further information on preparing for a hurricane, you can use The Official Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
Residents can call the Emergency Hotline 24/7 at 311 or 954-831-4000 for information on evacuation zones, routes and shelters. Below is the full list of shelters from Broward.org. Each shelter is served by a Broward County Bus route. Click here to find out which route serves each shelter. The BCT route map is available here.
Lyons Creek Middle School – 4333 Sol Press Blvd., Coconut Creek, FL 33073 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Monarch High School – 5050 Wiles Rd., Coconut Creek, FL 33073
Tradewinds Elementary School – 5400 Johnson Road, Coconut Creek, 33073
Coral Glades High School – 2700 Sportsplex Dr., Coral Springs, FL 33065 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Parkside Elementary – 10257 NW 29 St. Coral Springs (pet friendly)
Fox Trail Elementary School – 1250 Nob Hill Rd., Davie, FL 33324 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
From Broward.org: “The City of Deerfield Beach with the Broward Sheriff’s office is evacuating residents from the barrier island, single family homes, condos and mobile home parks including Highland Village, Pine Tree Park, Country Knolls, Breezy Hills, and Tide Waters today, Friday, September 8th until 5PM. After 5PM residents who wish to evacuate can call Broward County 3-1-1 for assistance. Residents will be transported to Monarch High School shelter in Coconut Creek.”
Rock Island Elementary – 2350 N.W. 19th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Atlantic Technical (Arthur Ashe) – 1701 N.W. 23rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Beachside Montessori Village – 2230 Lincoln Street, Hollywood, 33065
Watkins Elementary School – 3520 S.W. 52nd Ave., Pembroke Park, FL 33023 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Park Lakes Elementary School – 3925 N. State Rd. 7, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319
Coconut Palm Elementary School – 13601 Monarch Lakes Blvd., Miramar, FL 33027 – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
New Renaissance Middle School – 10701 Miramar Blvd., Miramar, FL 33025
Everglades High School – 17100 SW 48TH CT, Miramar, FL 33027 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Silver Trail Middle School – 18300 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines, FL 33331
West Broward High School – 500 NW 209 Ave., Pembroke Pines, FL 33029 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Plantation Elementary School – 651 N.W. 42nd Ave., Plantation, FL 33317 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Pompano Beach High School – 600 N.E. 13 Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33060 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Falcon Cove Middle School – 4251 Bonaventure Blvd., Weston, FL 33332 – CLOSED; FILLED TO CAPACITY
Everglades Elementary School- 2900 Bonaventure Blvd., Weston, FL 3331
NOTE: There is a pet-friendly shelter in Tamarac at Millennium Middle School at 5803 NW 94th Ave. It is now CLOSED due to FULL CAPACITY.