With Hurricane Irma taking a worrisome move in recent forecasting models, Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County are urging residents to prepare for the hurricane’s arrival. However, is Port St. Lucie evacuating in advance of the hurricane?
As of the morning of September 8, there was a mandatory evacuation for some in St. Lucie County but not all:
“Mandatory evacuations will be issued for residents on North & South Hutchinson Island, in low-laying areas and those living in mobile homes, starting Friday at 3 p.m. Once residents leave those areas, they will not be allowed re-entry until the storm passes and public safety official have cleared the roads,” St. Lucie County announced on September 7. That message was still true on September 8.
In its 6 p.m. Friday update, the county wrote, “Mandatory evacuations were issued for residents on North & South Hutchinson Island, in low-laying areas and those living in mobile homes, starting Friday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. Residents will be allowed on and off the islands until tropical storm force winds impact our area. Once the winds get to tropical storm force levels, the bridges will be closed to everyone except first responders.”
There was not a mandatory evacuation order in place for the entire city of Port St. Lucie or the entire county of St. Lucie on September 8, information always subject to change as the storm shifts. The City of Port St. Lucie directed people to the county’s interactive evacuation shelter map and released this update with information for residents.
The county released the following information about shelters:
“Our general population shelters opened Friday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. including:
Westwood High School, 1801 Angle Road, Fort Pierce, which will also serve as a pet-friendly shelter. Residents need to bring crates that can comfortably accommodate their pets, as well as food, water and litter. Owners are required to show proof of current rabies vaccinations and licenses for their pets. Pets, along with their owners, will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Treasure Coast High School, 1000 SW Darwin Blvd. Port St. Lucie
Westgate K-8 School, 1050 NE Cashmere Blvd., Port St. Lucie
Fort Pierce Central High School, 4101 South 25th Street, Fort Pierce
As of 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, roughly 500 residents have checked in to the four general population shelters.
The rest of the general population shelters will open on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.
Bayshore Elementary, 1661 SW Bayshore Blvd, Port St Lucie
Chester A Moore Elementary, 827 N 29th Street, Fort Pierce
Floresta Elementary, 1501 SE Floresta Drive, Port St Lucie
Lakewood Park Elementary, 7800 Indrio Road, Fort Pierce
Morningside Elementary, 2300 SE Gowin Dr, Port St Lucie
Oak Hammock Elementary, 1251 SW California Blvd, Port St Lucie
Parkway Elementary School, 7000 NW Selvitz Rd, Port St Lucie
Samuel S. Gaines Academy, 2250 S Jenkins Rd, Fort Pierce
Residents are reminded that shelters are places of last resort. Those planning to stay at a shelter should bring food, water, blankets, pillows and medications.”
Officials previously “warned residents who want to run from Hurricane Irma to get out as soon as possible” due to heavy traffic conditions on Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike, according to TVPalm. Be aware that the information is date sensitive and could change.
“To get out now would be a wise, wise decision, if you decide to evacuate,” Sheriff Ken Mascara told the news site.
However, hurricane conditions are listed as possible for Saturday night and Sunday:
Should I stay or should I evacuate? The city posted the question on its website and writes:
“Most emergency managers agree that if you are in a well-built home and not in an evacuation zone the best option is often to secure your residence and ride out the storm there. Residents who live in mobile homes or in a storm surge area should always evacuate to a public shelter or stay with relatives or friends. If you are elderly or have special needs or health concerns then you should also evacuate. The only Special Needs Shelter for Port St. Lucie residents is located at the Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, and you need to pre-register with St. Lucie County Department of Health, preferably before hurricane season begins. If you are concerned with the structural integrity of your house then you should evacuate or seek public shelter.”
See updated radar for St. Lucie here.
The city has provided information for residents about everything from sandbags to yard waste collection. You can see that information here.
See the city’s Hurricane Irma information page here.
On September 6, the city also provided a list of stations where gas was still available.
Officials communicated with the public via live video stream.
See a recent spaghetti model here:
The extended weather forecast for Port St. Lucie is as follows:
“Today (September 8)
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 81. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 87. Windy, with an east northeast wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Tropical storm conditions possible, with hurricane conditions also possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 78. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Hurricane conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 85. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Hurricane conditions possible. Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 75. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Tropical storm conditions possible. A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 89.
A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. West southwest wind around 10 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. West wind around 5 mph.
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. West southwest wind around 5 mph.”