Hurricane Irma is on track to hit Florida this weekend, and there is still time for Jacksonville and Duval County residents to prepare. The hurricane was downgraded to a Category 3 on Saturday morning, but is expected to gain strength before making landfall in Florida. As it moves closer to the state, it’s important to know which evacuation zone you are in and where shelters are located.
UPDATE: The full list of shelters in Jacksonville have been added to this post below. Shelters opened at 10 a.m. Friday.
According to the City of Jacksonville website, a MANDATORY evacuation has been ordered for Zones A and B. For immediate information on shelters, call 630-CITY (2489). You can also call that number if you have special needs.
In addition to the evacuation maps below, you can click here to enter your address and find your evacuation zone, as well as a more detailed look that includes street names.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5:00 p.m. AST Wednesday public advisory reports that the storm is still a Hurricane 5 storm, with the eye passing over the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. It is now 55 miles east-northeast from San Juan, Puerto Rico and still has sustained winds of 185 mph.
Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency for all 67 counties in Florida, including Duval and other First Coast counties. Scott also activated 1,000 members of the Florida National Guard to help prepare for the storm. Another 6,000 members will be activated no later than Friday morning.
Duval Public Schools have already cancelled classes for Friday, September 8 and Monday, September 11. There will be an early release on Thursday, September 7. All varsity football games for Thursday evening were also cancelled. Two junior varsity games (West Nassau @ Terry Parker and Yulee @ Sandalwood) were rescheduled for October.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry told residents to leave now if they can. Curry also declared a State of Emergency. Curry said there will be 12 shelters in case they are needed.
“I can’t stress the importance of this. This is a unique event with a storm facing the entire state. If you have the ability, please leave,” he said. “This storm is a monster and I recognize that people are running around and feeling some panic. Let’s calm down and go about our business or preparing.”
Sheriff Mike Williams noted that if there is a mandatory evacuation and you stay, you put yourself at risk because first responders may have trouble getting to your location. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also said that the locations of the shelters will be announced on Friday.
The full list of shelters has finally been announced and added below.. Residents can only go to a shelter after it is announced that it’s open. You can call 630-CITY (2489) for information.
General Population Shelters
Landmark Middle School: 101 Kernan Blvd. N (pets allowed)
Twin Lakes Elementary: 8000 Point Meadows Dr.
Chimney Lakes Elementary: 9353 Staples Mill Dr. (pets allowed)
Mandarin Middle School: 5100 Hood Rd. (pets allowed)
Oceanway Elementary: 1255 Gillespie Ave.
Abess Park Elementary: 12731 Abess Blvd.
Legends Center: 5130 Soutel Dr. (pets allowed; also a special needs shelter) – FILLED TO CAPACITY
Andrew Robinson: 101 W. 12th St.
Arlington Middle School: 8141 Lone Star Rd.
City Rescue Mission’s New Life Inn: 1234 W. State St. (opens at 12 p.m. Friday)
Special Needs Shelters
Legends Center: 5130 Soutel Dr. (pets allowed; also a general population shelter)
Atlantic Coast High School: 9735 R.G. Skinner Parkway (pets allowed)
Oceanway Middle: 143 Oceanway Ave.
Enterprise Elementary: 8085 Old Middleburg Rd.
Florida residents can use FloridaDisaster.org/GetAPlan to put together a hurricane plan for your family or your business.