Northwest Florida Irma Updates

Panama City, Fla. - This is an ongoing list of important information for Northwest Florida residents during Hurricane Irma. We will update it as new information becomes available.


The Bay County School Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, 9/12/17 is cancelled.  A new meeting date will be announced later this week.

Due to ongoing inclement weather and concerns for citizen safety who may wish to attend the City Commission meeting and speak on the Proposed FY18 Budget and other items, the City Commission meeting this evening has been postponed to Thursday September 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm. at Panama City Hall.

As of noon Central time, state emergency management officials continue to anticipate Tropical Storm force winds for the Bay County area beginning at around 1 a.m. Monday.

The Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) have issued a directive that, for Hurricane Irma, bridges will close at sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. Currently, potential sustained wind speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour in Bay County are expected from around 1 a.m. Monday morning until noon Monday. Should the wind speeds reach a level that would require closure of bridges, such a directive will be issued by FHP and conveyed to the public via Alert Bay. Please sign up for emergency notifications at

Mandatory evacuations are NOT anticipated for Bay County at this time, as this event does not pose significant storm surge threats that would trigger an evacuation. Residents are asked to, if possible, remain in their homes or shelter locations for the duration of the bad weather.

An emergency shelter will open at 1 p.m. Sunday at Deane Bozeman School, located at 13410 State Road 77. Anyone concerned for their safety as the weather deteriorates should move to the shelter prior to the arrival of bad weather. People who live in mobile homes should consider relocating to the shelter or another safe location. Additional shelters will be opened as needed.

In support of sheltering efforts, the Bay County Commission issued a local state of emergency Sunday.

Offices of the Bay County Board of County Commissioners will be closed Monday; however, all Tier 1 employees should report to work.

The Bay County Emergency Operations has activated to a Level 2, or partial activation, to support sheltering needs.

Emergency shelters should only be used when no other sheltering options are available. They do not provide the comfort or convenience of a home or hotel, and it may be crowded, noisy and boring. 

Please bring any specialty food or snacks required, and food must be non-perishable. Evacuees should also bring bedding, clothing, medications and toiletries. Do not bring alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or weapons.

The Deane Bozeman shelter is a pet-friendly facility, however pets must be kenneled and evacuees are responsible for providing food and water for their animals. Vaccination evidence should be presented.

Very little storm surge is predicted for Bay County at this time, though high tide may be one to two feet higher than normal. Storm-surge related evacuations are not expected.

Please follow Bay County, Florida Emergency Services on Facebook for the most current information concerning Hurricane Irma.

Bay County schools are closed Monday and Tuesday. 


The city continues to fill sand bags for Lynn Haven residents at the REC center off 390. We are also running debris trucks picking up any debris that could be hazardous to people or property until dark. We encourage everyone to remain aware of storm alerts and take precautions in order to stay safe and protect your family.


Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) remains open, but there are numerous flight cancellations due to Hurricane Irma. The airport recommends passengers check flight status with their airlines before coming to the airport on Sunday.

The last commercial flight at ECP on Sunday is at 6:55p.m. Most arrivals and departures will be canceled on Monday, September 11.

“We are working closely with our airline partners and with Bay County Emergency Management to monitor the storm system and ensure the safety and security of our passengers,” said Parker McClellan, Executive Director at ECP. “

The Military Welcome Center will be closed today and is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday morning.

The airport and its partners anticipate resuming flight schedules on Tuesday morning, depending on storm severity.

For more updates, follow @iflybeaches on Twitter.



The Jackson County Emergency Management Office is currently at a Level 2 Activation today Saturday 9/9/17 (6 am- 6 pm).  On Sunday, 9/10/17 we will move to Level 1 activation at 6:00 am and remain on duty 24 hours until the threat of Hurricane Irma has left Jackson County.

Both the General Population Shelter and People with Special Needs Shelters are open and accepting evacuees.  The Shelters are located at 3546 Caverns Road, Marianna Florida at the Marianna High School.

Evacuees MUST bring identification with them to the Shelter.  No animals are allowed in the PSN Shelter.  Pets are allowed in the general shelter as long as they are in a carrier and the owner supplies the food and water.

NO, firearms or alcohol is allowed.

The cone of uncertainty currently encompasses Jackson County are we are under a Hurricane Watch.  Due to the high wind probability,  persons/residents are asked to Voluntarily Evacuate manufactured homes, mobile homes and RV Parks.  If you are at one of our State parks (Florida Caverns, Three-Rivers, etc), you are also urged to evacuate.

For those wishing to seek shelter at the General Population shelter, you will need to bring pillows, blankets, personal hygiene items, games for children and other various personal needs.  Additionally, it is advised to bring snacks or various other meal items.   The normal 3 meals per day will be supplied.

For those needing transportation or related information, they may call (850) 718-0019.

To report power issues, trees down or various other incidents, please call (850) 718-0020.We urge everyone to be vigilant in keeping up-to-date on the weather.


Gulf County Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday. 



All county government offices, as well as the court system will be closed on Monday September
11, 2017.
At the Saturday, September 9, 2017 8:00 AM ET Emergency Meeting, the Board of County
Commissioners issued:
MANDATORY EVACUATION for all RV’s in the coastal corridor (one mile from the
water). This includes T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Indian Pass
Campground and Presnell’s Campground. Port St. Joe Elementary and Wewahitchka High
School will be available for staging RV’s this morning at 9:00 am.
MANDATORY EVACUATION for all north of the Stump Hole (large rocks alongside the
road where the road turns to the north) on Cape San Blas Road (SR 30-E).
VOLUNTARY EVACUATION for those in Evacuation Zone A, water side of Hwy 98,
including SR & CR 30-A, as well as Indian Pass. Voluntary for all mobile homes and those in
low-lying areas.
SANDBAGS Sandbags are available at the Indian Pass Raw Bar for residents who need them.
SHELTERS – A general population shelter will be opening in Calhoun County today, Saturday,
September 9, 2017 at the Blountstown High School, 18597 NE SR 69, Blountstown, FL 32424
4:00 EDT. Items to bring to shelters include bedding, there are not usually cots in
evacuation shelters, medicine, and any special foods or snacks needed, Quiet toys to keep
children entertained, Chargers for electronics, Towels, showers are available.
BRIDGES Bridges will remain open until wind strength reaches SUSTAINED 45 MPH speeds
ALERTGULF In order to get the most accurate and up to date information, we encourage
residents to sign up for AlertGulf Emergency Notifications at

Press Release # 4

Disaster Name: Hurricane Irma

Date: 9/9/17
Follow our Facebook page found at
Or visit our website at

Additional Shelters will be opened at 4pm at Mossy Pond Community Center and Altha Public School. Blountstown High School is currently open. IF YOU DO NOT FEEL SAFE IN YOUR STRUCTURE SEEK SHELTER AT ONE OF THESE LOCATIONS. Calhoun County Emergency Management is working with local agencies to provide transportation if it is needed. As of 5pm tonight those services will be suspended. Report power outages to your local power provider. Calhoun County Courthouse will be closed Monday and schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Contact Calhoun County Emergency Management at 850-674-8075







Calhoun County Emergency Management is opening a Red Cross general population shelter at Blountstown High School and will be opened at 3pm cst Saturday, September 9. The Blountstown High School is located at 18597 NE SR69 Blountstown, FL 32424. The Emergency Shelter is provided for public use in the event you do not feel safe in your location, and you have no other option for refuge. 

WHAT TO BRING – Photo ID and other important documents, sleeping gear (e.g., pillow, blankets, cot, modest sleepwear, ear-plugs), personal hygiene supplies (toothbrush, diapers, baby food, baby wipes for washing), medications, special dietary items, snacks and comfort foods. Remember: There is no place in a shelter to store valuables, other than in your pockets

WHAT NOT TO BRING – Do not bring pets, illegal drugs, alcohol, guns, knives or weapons of any kind.

If you have questions contact Calhoun County Emergency Management at (850) 674-8075


As a result of Hurricane Irma, Tyndall Air Force Base officials have moved to condition level HURCON 3. This warning level means the hurricane has become a potential threat to Tyndall with destructive winds (+57.5 mph) possible within 48 hours. There has been no move to evacuate.
Tyndall personnel and their family members should take the following steps:
1. Ensure you have completed steps/precautions listed for HURCON 4 and 5.
2. Monitor weather stations.
3. Finish preparations for storm.
4. Gather evacuation items.
5. Secure home and belongings.
6. Prepare for potential evacuation.
More helpful information can be found on Tyndall's hurricane page at
Stay up-to-date on medical care information at


As a precautionary measure, Franklin County is issuing a MANDATORY EVACUATION starting at 10:00 am.

Hurricane Irma’s track has shifted to a more westerly track than originally predicted. Franklin County can expect power outages and rainfall up to 6 inches.

There will no medical response once the sustained winds reach 45 mph. The current wind speed is now at 28 mph.

This is for residents want to evacuate the county. This is the last chance to have transportation provided for residents wanting to evacuate.
Franklin County will have School Buses available to pick up residents who do not have transportation. One small Bag per person.
Pick up times: 10:30 am if you are not at the location at 10:30 am you will not be picked up.
These buses will transport you to a shelter out of the Franklin County Area.
Lanark Village-Chillas Hall
Carrabelle- Carrabelle High School
Eastpoint- Brown Elementary
Apalachicola- ABC School


Franklin County Emergency Management is activated to a Level 1 Activation Hurricane Weather Update:
• Irma has shifted westward overnight
• Further Shifts westward in the track could have large changes in the current forecast-
• Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for the Big Bend Area
• Main Threat is wind damage and widespread power outages.
• According to the current track Topical Storm Force winds can be expected Sunday afternoon- early Monday Morning 9/11/2017. Secure all outdoor items such as chairs, grills, and umbrellas that can move in the event of high winds.
• Rain Amounts of 4-6 inches across Southwest GA, Southwest AL, and western FL panhandle. Amounts of 2-4 inches include south-central GA and the eastern FL Big Bend


• @FranklinEOC on Facebook – Like Our Page for Updates
• Alert Franklin – Sign up at
• Local Radio and TV Stations
• WeatherStem- download app on phone or

Office Closures

All Franklin County Schools are Closed Friday 9/8/2017 and Monday 9/11/2017
City of Apalachicola Office, Franklin County Office, and City of Carrabelle will be CLOSED on Monday 9/11/2017

Franklin County Emergency Management, will be issuing a mandatory evacuation for all low-lying areas, mobile homes and Barrier Islands Franklin County beginning at 12:00 pm on 9/9/2017.
Transportation Disadvantage
Franklin County will have School Buses available to pick up residents who do not have transportation. One small Bag per person.
Pick up times: 3:00 pm to 5:00pm at the following locations
Lanark Village-Chillas Hall
Carrabelle- Carrabelle High School
Eastpoint- Brown Elementary
Apalachicola- ABC School


Lawton Chiles High School – Tallahassee -7200 Lawton Chiles Ln-Tallahassee- Full
Oak Ridge Elementary School- 4530 Sheifer Rd Tallahassee Fl- Full
Canopy Oaks @12:00-
North Woods Baptist Church
West Gadsen
Havana Middle


As of the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Walton County has been placed under a Tropical Storm Warning, indicating the potential for tropical storm force winds to arrive Sunday evening. 

Tropical storm winds range from 39-74 mph, and current forecasts state that Walton County has a 1 in 3 chance of receiving sustained tropical storm force winds. Those winds are forecast to potentially arrive sometime between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunday night but is subject to change based upon forward speed of the storm. Due to the storm’s approach, we are not expecting ANY storm surge or flooding to accompany this storm in Walton County.

Based on the information from the NHC, Walton Chairwoman Cecilia Jones has declared a Local State of Emergency and the Emergency Management Director in coordination with the Executive Policy Group have issued a VOLUNTARY evacuation notice beginning at 10:00am.

The County will also open a general population and special needs shelter at Freeport High School beginning at 10:00am Sunday morning for those who decide to VOLUNTARILY evacuate from their travel trailers, mobile homes, or those who do not feel unsafe in their homes or have special needs.

Freeport High School Shelter
12165 US Hwy 331 Business
Freeport, FL 32439
Shelter Opening: 10:00am Sunday, September 10

County Closings for Monday, September 11th
-          Walton County Governmental Offices
-          Walton County Tax Collector’s Office
-          Walton County Clerk of Courts
-          Walton County Property Appraiser
-          Walton County Supervisor of Elections
-          Walton County School System
-          City of DeFuniak Springs (Monday Council Meeting also Cancelled)

Walton County Emergency Management will continue to have the Citizen Information Center at the Emergency Operations Center activated.  The Center is staffed to assist with the distribution of information to Walton County residents, visitors and any evacuees that may arrive in Walton County.

                Citizen Information Line: (850) 892-8392, or (850) 892-8394, or you can dial 2-1-1

Additional Information:

·         To receive updates on County actions during a disaster like a hurricane follow our social media accounts.

o   Facebook: Walton County Emergency Management (

o   Twitter: @WaltonCountyEM

o   Website:

o   For Florida interstate information:


With Hurricane Irma evacuees beginning the process of heading home, Washington County is asking all residents to keep fuel purchases at a minimum to ensure these individuals will have access to gas while traveling through the area.

A Risk Shelter will open tomorrow, 9-10-17 at 5PM at Roulhac Middle School located at 1535 Brickyard Road in Chipley.  A Special Needs Shelter will open at 5PM in the 5th Grade Wing of the same campus.

Those staying in the shelter should understand they are not for comfort but simply a last resort option.  Bring bedding, personal hygiene items, snacks and medications.


The Town of Caryville is offering Hurricane Irma evacuees a place to rest.  The field area west of the Town Hall located at 4436 Old Spanish Trail, Caryville, FL is available for those needing somewhere to stop for the night or a few hours of rest.  We do not have bathroom facilities but there are a limited number of electrical hookups.  Caryville is located at I-10 exit 104, head north approximately 2 miles, turn left, the Town Hall will be on your right.  The Town of Caryville is no stranger to natural disasters and understands the confusion and uncertainty that comes with such an event.  To those who may need a moment of respite from their travels, we welcome you in Caryville.
Directions and information can be found on our Facebook page: Town of Caryville @CaryvilleFL or contact the Town Hall at 850-548-5571.


The Florida Highway Patrol is urging local traffic to stay on local roadways and off I-10. This will help alleviate traffic concerns.  

FDOT, FHP Implements Limited Emergency Shoulder Use (ESU) Plan for Hurricane Irma on I-75 at Wildwood to the Georgia State Line
There is no contraflow or one-way operation in use on Florida state roadways.

The Florida Highway Patrol would like to remind motorist that during the upcoming storm
to please stay off the roadways. The local bridges will be monitored for wind hazards and will be
evaluated for closure when winds reach 40 mph sustained. During the storm our troopers will be
taken off the roadway, when the weather becomes too dangerous for our members to safely
respond to calls for service.
Please follow the below tips for the next several days as we experience Hurricane Irma force
• Slow down –. The roads remain slick after the storm so if you have to drive, decrease your
speed to avoid hydroplaning.
• Buckle up – When it is finally safe to venture out, take the extra time to buckle your seatbelt. It
is the law in Florida, and statistics continue to show that seatbelts save lives. Four of the
reported deaths related to Tropical Story Fay involved motorists who were not wearing their
• Be cautious of high winds – Windy conditions adversely affect all vehicles, particularly high
profile vehicles, such as buses and trucks, as well as motorcycles. Gusty wind makes driving
difficult, especially when it is rapidly changing speed and direction.
• Turn around; don’t drown – Prepare for standing water. Never drive through flooded areas,
even if you are familiar with the roads. The area of roadway you cannot see beneath the water
may be washed out or the water may conceal debris, tree branches or even power lines.
• Pay attention – You may come up on an intersection that is no longer controlled by a traffic
control device. If a police officer is directing traffic, follow their directions. Otherwise, treat the
intersection as you would treat an intersection governed by a four-way Stop sign.



VA Clinics

The Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System’s outpatient clinics near Eglin Air Force Base and in Panama City Beach will be closed Sept. 11.

GCVHCS Medical Administration Service personnel called veterans and rescheduled appointments that were scheduled for Sept. 11.  The facilities are expected to be open at 8 a.m. on Sept. 12.



• Storm Surge Warning:
o The Florida/Georgia line southward to Jupiter Inlet
o North Miami Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to the Ochlockonee River
o Florida Keys
o Tampa Bay

• Hurricane Warning:
o Fernandina Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to Indian Pass at the Gulf/Franklin County line.
o Florida Keys
o Lake Okeechobee
o Florida Bay

• Tropical Storm Warning:
o West of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line
o North of Fernandina Beach to South Santee River

• Please visit to see what evacuation orders are in place in your county.
• DEM estimates that 6.5 million Floridians have been ordered to evacuate.

• More than 530 shelters are open throughout Florida with a total population of more than 116,000 individuals. More than 75 special needs shelters are open with a total population of more than 12,700 individuals. This number is being updated throughout the day. Visit to find information on shelters in your area.
• Shelters are continuing to open across the state, including shelters for people with special needs, pets and general populations. To find information about available shelter information by county,
• FEMA is also hosting shelter information on its mobile app which can be found at

• The current power outage as of 12:00 p.m. is1,528,282 accounts. For a full breakdown, click HERE.
• Restoration personnel have been activated to help restore power as quickly as possible following the storm’s impact.

• Governor Scott has activated the entire force of the Florida Army and Air National Guard – 7,000 guard members – to support with planning, and logistics operations in preparation for potential impacts from Hurricane Irma. These members are stationing across the state and actively assisting with preparation efforts and supporting more than 200 shelters. The Florida National Guard has 1,000 high water vehicles, 13 helicopters, 17 boats and more than 700 generators on standby.
• More than 700 more guardsmen are preparing to set up food and water distribution sites as soon as the storm passes and we are working alongside FWC to prepare for search and rescue mission as soon as it is safe.
• The Florida National Guard is coordinating a multi-state response focused on planning and preparing thousands of forces to enhance security and support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. States that have deployed troops or are positioning support include North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Jersey, Alabama, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland and Iowa.
• The Florida National Guard is coordinating with the National Guard Bureau to identify approximately 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks, 100 helicopters, and air evacuation crews that are standing by for Hurricane Irma support, if needed. 10,000 of those troops are in the process of joining Florida Guard members for deployment after the storm.

• More than 200 FWC officers statewide, including partner agencies, will be standing by in areas expected to be safe with resources such as trucks, coastal and river patrol boats, ATVs and shallow draft boats to respond to critical areas based on the storm’s path. FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) officers, National Guard members and an Urban Search and Rescue Team are staged for reconnaissance once the storm passes that area.
• FWC has more than 500 law enforcement vessels standing ready and is prepared to sustain these resources as long as necessary.
• FWC is swearing in more than 200 officers that are being deployed from Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas and Texas. By the end of today, FWC will have 50 additional officers from Louisiana, 28 officers from Arkansas, and 26 from Mississippi.
• The entire Florida Highway Patrol, approximately 1,700 troopers, is on 12-hour shifts, with the primary mission to assist emergency response. In addition, a total of 330 troopers are on standby to assist with recovery and road clearance efforts after the storm passes.
• Florida Incident Management Teams (IMT) are mobilizing to provide overall statewide command and control for all Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) and lifesaving operations.
• FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) teams are staged for rapid deployment behind Hurricane Irma, including additional teams standing by in Georgia.

• Sustained winds over 40 miles per hour will prompt the Florida Highway Patrol to close bridges. The state Emergency Operations Center is receiving regular wind status updates from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and closely monitoring the wind speeds across bridges. The following major bridges are currently closed:
o Sunshine Skyway Bridge

• Airport Updates:
o The following airports are closed:
o Airport Manatee (48X)
o Albert Whitted Airport (SPG)
o Boca Raton Airport (BCT)
o Downtown Fort Lauderdale Heliport (DT1)
o Everglades Airpark (X01)
o Fernandina Beach Municipal (FHB)
o Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International (KFLL)
o Immokalee Regional Airport (IMM)
o Key West International Airport (KEYW)
o Keys/Marathon International (MTH)
o Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM)
o Leesburg International Airport (LEE)
o Marco Island Airport (MKY)
o Miami Seaplane Base (MPB)
o Naples Municipal Airport (APF)
o North Perry Airport (HWO)
o Northeast Florida Regional (SGJ)
o Ocala International-Jim Taylor Field (OCF)
o Okeechobee County Airport (OBE)
o Orlando–Sanford International (KSFB)
o Ormond Beach Municipal (OMN)
o Peter O Knight Airport (TPF)
o Plant City Airport (PCM)
o Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP)
o Saint George Island Airport (F47)
o Sarasota–Bradenton International (KSRQ)
o St Pete-Clearwater International (PIE)
o Tallahassee Commercial Airport (68J)
o Tampa Executive Airport (VDF)
o Tavares Seaplane Base (FA1)
o Williston Municipal Airport (X60)

o The following airports have terminated Commercial Service:
o Daytona Beach International (KDAB)
o Melbourne International Airport (MLB)
o Palm Beach International (KPBI)
o Punta Gorda Airport (PGD)
o Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)

o The following airports are conducting  emergency operations only:
o Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport (TNT)
o Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE)
o Miami Executive Airport (TMB)
o Miami Homestead General Aviation (X51)
o Miami International (KMIA)
o Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF)
o Orlando International (KMCO)
o Tampa International (KTPA)
o Venice Municipal Airport (VNC)
o Vero Beach Municipal Airport (VRB)
o Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport (GIF)

• Port Updates:
o Key West: Port closed
o Miami: Port closed
o Port Everglades: Port closed
o Palm Beach: Port Closed
o Manatee: Port closed
o St. Petersburg: Port closed
o Canaveral: Port closed
o Ft Pierce: Port Closed
o Jacksonville: Port closed
o Fernandina: Port closed
o Tampa: Port closed
o Panama City: Port Closed
o Pensacola: Open with restrictions

• Free Xfinity WiFi hotspots are available throughout the state for individuals in need, including non-Xfinity customers, to help residents and emergency personnel stay connected. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, which are located both indoors and outdoors in places such as shopping districts, parks and businesses, please visit
• Charter Communications opened all of their Spectrum WiFi hotspots across Florida to help those affected by Hurricane Irma get connected. 
• Telecommunications Partners are monitoring fuel levels for generators and back-up power supply for cell towers, mobile switching centers and central offices.
• The state is working with city, county and state entities to re-route phone lines. At this point, there are no out of ordinary reports of any major outages.

• The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a level one, which is a full-scale, 24-hours-a-day activation.
• The Florida Emergency Information Line has been activated and is available 24/7 for families and victors at 1-800-342-3557.
• Floridians can text FLPREPARES to 888777 in order to receive text alerts from FDEM.
• The media line is 850-921-0217.
• Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Irma.
• Visit to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.
• On Monday, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 counties within the State of Florida.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center