Hurricane Michael Openings and Closings in the Panhandle

News
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This is a live updating list of shelter opening, school closing and other information released by government agencies about Hurricane Michael. Information that needs to be added to this list should be emailed to news@wmbb.com 

BAY COUNTY

With life-threatening conditions from Hurricane Michael occurring in Bay County, first responders urge residents to stay put and shelter in place!

When sheltering in place, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise people to do the following:

Get inside. Bring your loved ones, your emergency supplies, and when possible, your pets indoors.

Find a safe spot in this location. Stay put in this location. Call or text your emergency contact. Let them know where you are, if any family members are missing, and how you are doing.

Use your phone only as necessary. Keep the phone handy in case you need to report a life threatening emergency. Otherwise, do not use the phone, so that the lines will be available for emergency responders.

Keep listening to your radio, television, or phone for updates. Do not leave your shelter unless authorities tell you it is safe to do so.

Sheltering with pets

Prepare a spot for your pets to relieve themselves while inside the shelter. Do not allow pets to go outside the shelter until the danger has passed.

Please continue to monitor this storm. For the most up-to-date information about Hurricane Michael, follow Bay County Emergency Services at the links below and monitor your local media outlets. Emergency information will also be shared through AlertBay.

Mandatory evacuation orders are now in place for zones A, B, and C. The link below will take you to the map to search by address. The order will be issued at 6 am Tuesday morning. Chief Mark Bowen is asking for those who can do so to evacuate Monday.
Evacuation Zones

Bay District Schools will be closed Tuesday 10/9, Wednesday 10/10 and Thursday 10/11 due to the approaching storm.

Florida State University will close Tuesday through Friday. FSU Tallahassee and Panama City, FL campuses to close tonight (Monday) at 12:01 a.m. Visit: http://alerts.fsu.edu  for official updates.

Gulf Coast School for Autism is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Covenant Christian School will be closed thru Thursday. 

Childworld Learning Center is closing Tuesday and Wednesday.

CareerSource Gulf Coast will be closing thru Thursday of this week.

Gulf Coast State College will be closed thru Thursday. All instructional classes & activities will be suspended until Monday.  

Veterans Affairs The VA in Panama City Beach is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Bay Medical Sacred Heart Health System In preparation for the expected landfall of Hurricane Michael the Emergency Room and trauma center at Bay Medical Sacred Heart Health System main campus at 615 N. Bonita Ave in Panama City, will remain open for emergency treatment during the hurricane. 

The Beach emergency room at 1111 Panama City Beach Parkway will close Tuesday at noon, and staff will be reassigned to the main ER.

All Bay Medical Physician Group offices, the Healthplex, and outpatient imaging and diagnostics locations will close at noon today.

Elective surgeries have been moved to next week.

Panama City Mall will be closed thru Wednesday and open for regular business hours on Thursday.

Tyndall Federal Credit Union branches are now closed: Port St. Joe branch, Air Force Base branch, Thomas Drive branch, Panama City Beach branch, 23rd Street branch, Lynn Haven branch, Parker branch, Chipley branch, and Marianna branch. These branches will remain closed on Wednesday, October 10th.

14th Judicial Circuit Courthouses in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington Counties will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

Early Education and Care Head Start all locations will be closed 10/9 and 10/10. Parents and employees check the agency’s Facebook page for more information.

Toddler Haven in Lynn Haven will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.

LYNN HAVEN

City offices will be closed so that staff can make preparations for their homes. The following City sport activities, events and programs will close as follows:
•    Splash Parks at Cain-Griffin and A.L. Kinsaul will close today at 3:00 p.m. today, Oct. 8, through Friday. 
•    Porter Park boat ramp will be closed until further notice.
•    The Lynn Haven Senior Center will be closed tomorrow, Oct. 9, at noon through Friday, Oct. 12.
•    The Fall Concert Series, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m. is canceled.
•    All sporting events, including practices will be canceled for the rest of this week.

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE

Tyndall has begun evacuating aircraft. Some of them will be housed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Others are being sent to the Alliance Fort Worth Airport in Texas. Tyndall officials say they will share more information for Tyndall service members and their families this afternoon. 

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY PANAMA CITY

NSA Panama City Commanding Officer has ordered a mandatory evacuation of the installation to be completed by 4:00 p.m. (CDT) Tuesday. 

Evacuations are authorized for all service members, civilian employees, their dependents and Reservists on active duty. 

The safe haven location is Gulfport, MS or within 150 miles of Gulfport.

Daily muster is required on NFAAS https://navyfamily.navy.mil and with your supervisor. If you are unable to contact your supervisor call the NSA muster team at  850-774-7976.

Tenant command personnel will refer to their command leadership for evacuation orders including safe haven information and effective times.
 

CALHOUN COUNTY

The Calhoun County Board of County Commissioners has declared a Local State of Emergency for Hurricane Michael.

All Calhoun County Schools will be closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

All persons with interests in Calhoun County are strongly advised to monitor the latest forecasts, and should begin taking necessary precautions to protect life and property.

Shelters will be opened at Altha Public School at 1pm and Mossy Pond Community Center at 3pm. Blountstown High School is currently open. Voluntary evacuations of mobile homes, trailers and flood prone communities are in effect.

IF YOU DO NOT FEEL SAFE IN YOUR STRUCTURE GO TO ONE OF THE SHELTERS. 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 today at 12 pm and Wednesday. Schools will remain closed Wednesday and Thursday.

Calhoun EM urging all residents to seek shelter as Hurricane Michael now Cat 3 continues strengthening with possibility to see Cat 5 gusts. Bridge closures likely before morning. First Responder services will not be available once sustained winds are in excess of 45 mph.

GULF COUNTY

All Gulf County bridges are closed effective at 9 a.m. CT until further notice. A curfew is in effect for everyone south of the Intercoastal Waterway until further notice.

IMMEDIATE EVACUATION ORDER
All persons north of the Intercoastal Waterway planning to evacuate do so before 9:30 ET. Honeyville shelter is open at 240 Honeyville Park Drive, Wewahitchka FL 32465

Please be sure to bring, food, water, blankets, medicine, comfort items for children, prescription medications, etc.

A mandatory evacuation was issued for the following areas:  • All of Cape San Blas • All of Indian Pass area • Simmons Bayou, Highland View • Windmark • In the City of Port St. Joe all areas from St. Joseph Bay to Long Avenue. • St. Joe Beach and Beacon Hill – Waterside of Hwy. 98 • Those with high profile vehicles, living in mobile homes, low lying areas, or anyone who feels unsafe in their current location must evacuate –

All of these areas must be evacuated within 24 hours of this notice. Critical Businesses in those areas may remain open until 12:00 PM ET Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

Hwy 98 Inland on St. Joe Beach and Beacon Hill.  RE-ENTRY Gulf County residents will NOT be required to obtain Re-Entry tags. At the checkpoints, you will need to provide your Florida State ID/Driver’s License OR documentation showing proof of residency/ownership, such as a utility bill. 

County offices will close at 12:00 PM ET tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9, 2018 
 
Gulf District Schools will be closed for the remainder of this week and will re-open after Fall Break, on Wednesday, October 17. Again, this closure is for all Gulf District Schools and includes North Florida Child Development facilities in Gulf County.

Recognizing that Hurricane Michael may significantly impact our area, and that student safety must always be our top priority, the board has voted to close schools October 9, 10, 11, and 12, which is tomorrow through the rest of the week. Fall Break is scheduled for October 15 and 16, and school will resume on the 17th.

All Extra-Curricular Activities and after-school programs for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have been canceled county-wide.  

THE WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERT REGARDING MANDATORY EVACUATIONS THAT WAS RECEIVED FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE WAS INTENDED FOR COASTAL AREAS ONLY IN GULF COUNTY. THE ONLY AREAS UNDER MANDATORY EVACUATION IN GULF COUNTY ARE AS FOLLOWS:
• All of Cape San Blas
• All of Indian Pass area
• Simmons Bayou, Highland View
• Windmark
• All areas from St. Joseph Bay to Long Avenue.
• All of St. Joe Beach and Beacon Hill
• Those with high profile vehicles, living in mobile homes, low lying areas, or anyone who feels unsafe in their current location must evacuate – COUNTYWIDE.

Per the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office Cape San Blas Rd/S.R. 30-E is now closed to ALL traffic until further notice.
 

JACKSON COUNTY 

Jackson County EOC officials have issued a mandatory curfew beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday and lasting for 24 hours, until 7 a.m. Thursday.

Jackson County schools are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Chipola College will be closed Tuesday, October 9 and Wednesday, October 10 due to Hurricane Michael. Check the website and social media for when classes will resume. 

Due to the progress of Hurricane Michael, The Baptist College of Florida will close operations at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.  We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 11, 2018. Should the reopening time change, we will post that information on the BCF Website, Facebook, and MyBCF.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Okaloosa County Staff and Officials are preparing for Hurricane Michael’s approach. Currently, Okaloosa County is at a level two activation for our Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This means staff have come in to prepare for the adverse effects of tropical weather on our area. 

The County Public Works Department has begun to provide bags and sand for all who wish to take advantage of those services. The county public works yards where you can pick up these items are located at 1759 S Ferdon Blvd, Crestview, FL 32536 and on Hollywood Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach. 

In addition – City of Destin Public Works will give away sand bags and sand at their maintenance department on Commons Drive in Destin. 

The Florida Department of Transportation will close all of the bridges once sustained winds exceed 39 miles per hour. They will do this without warning. The County is asking people who must use bridges to evacuate and wish to do so to evacuate as soon as possible. The governor has lifted tolls for bridges in advance of this storm. 

All general evacuees are asked to seek shelter at Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College.

                Special Needs Evacuees are still asked to go to Davidson Middle School. The shelter is still opened for special needs evacuees.

                The capacity of Raider Arena is 2200. We are currently far under that number of evacuees reporting and will be able to accommodate more, should the need arise.


HOLMES COUNTY

Due to increasing danger from hurricane-force winds and rain, Holmes County Office of Emergency Management is asking all residents seeking shelter at one of the county’s 3 Hurricane Shelters to be at a shelter no later than 10 a.m. today.

After 10 a.m., residents are urged to remain off the roads and find a safe place inside their homes until the worst of the storm has passed.

Shelters are located at:

•Holmes County K8, 140 Blue Devil  Dr., Bonifay (General Population Only)

•New Hope VFD, 1243 Highway 179A, Westville (General Population Only)

•Poplar Springs School, 3726 Atomic Drive, Graceville (General Population/ Special Needs/Pet-friendly)

Holmes County Emergency Management reminds the public that these shelters are for safety rather than comfort. Those seeking public shelter should bring bedding, snack, and medications.

HULBURT FIELD

Out of an abundance of caution and due to the potential arrival of strong winds from Hurricane Michael, Hurlburt Field leadership called for the evacuation of aircraft only, Oct. 8, 2018.

The aircraft will be evacuated to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, until the potential for bad weather is over.  The aircraft being evacuated are AC-130J Ghostriders, AC-130U “Spooky” Gunships, MC-130H Combat Talon IIs and PC-12s.

HOLMES COUNTY

Holmes County Sheriff John Tate is calling for “all hands on deck” ahead of Hurricane Michael.

A local State of Emergency was declared at 11 a.m. by the Board of Commissioners, and beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, all days off for will be canceled until further notice.

The City of Ponce de Leon is also opening a non-hurricane certified shelter for general population at the old gym located on Ponce de Leon Springs Road.

Holmes County Emergency Management reminds the public that these shelters are for safety rather than comfort. Those seeking public shelter should bring bedding, snack, and medications.

In addition to high winds, potential threats to Holmes County include flash flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

Residents are urged to monitor local news and weather stations and follow advisories from Holmes County Emergency Management to obtain the latest information regarding this storm.

All Holmes County residents seeking emergency shelter from the impacts of Hurricane Michael are urged to use the county’s two official emergency evacuation shelters.

These shelters have been inspected and approved to safely shelter residents before, during and after the hurricane. Both shelters have generator power available (in case of power loss), and will be fully stocked with food, water and other emergency supplies.

The safety and welfare of Holmes County residents cannot be guaranteed in anyplace other than an approved shelter.

Shelters are currently open at the following locations:

  • Holmes County K8, 140 Blue Devil  Dr., Bonifay (General Population Only)
  • New Hope VFD, 1969 Highway 2, Westville (General Population Only)
  • Poplar Springs School, 3726 Atomic Drive, Graceville (General Population/ Special Needs/Pet-friendly)

For the latest Hurricane Michael Emergency Information and Updates

Holmes County Citizen Hotline – (850) 547-1112

Facebook – Holmes County Emergency Management

Website – www.holmescountyfl.org

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Washington County Schools will close at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 and will remain closed through Thursday, October 1.

The Washington County Courthouse will close at 12 PM on Tuesday and remain closed through Thursday.

The Washington County Supervisor of Elections Office will close at 12 PM on Tuesday and remain closed through Thursday.

A Red Cross shelter is opened at Roulhac Middle School located at 1535 Brickyard Road in Chipley and a Special Needs Shelter is located at WAVE School on the same campus.  However, it is always safest to move outside the Hurricane Warning area if possible.

The Washington County Emergency Management Office announces that a SHELTER OF LAST RESORT will be opened at VERNON MIDDLE SCHOOL located at 3190 MOSS HILL ROAD in Vernon at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 to assist in accommodating adjoining counties whose shelters are reaching capacity.

NO PETS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THIS SHELTER.

THERE IS NO AIR AND NO FOOD WILL BE AVAILABLE. 

Individuals seeking shelter at this locations should bring their own snacks, medications, and bedding.

Law Enforcement will be on site.

This will not be a comfortable location but simply a safe place.  We encourage everyone to consider sheltering at our Red Cross Shelter at Roulhac Middle School in Chipley.

WALTON COUNTY

The Walton County Evacuation Shelters at Freeport and Walton High Schools are still open.

The Special Needs shelter at Freeport High School has reached capacity.  All those with special needs should evacuate to Walton High School.

General Population Shelters are still open at Freeport and Walton High Schools and Freeport remains the only pet friendly shelter open in Walton County.

If you are in either evacuation zone A, B or C and you have not evacuated, Leave Now.

Evacuation Shelter Information

  • General population, special needs and pets (cats and dogs only) is located at Freeport High School located at Freeport High School at 12615 Business Highway 331 in Freeport, FL.
  • General population and special needs shelter open at Walton High School at 449 Walton Road, DeFuniak Springs, FL
  • At this time, there are no traffic issues existing on the hurricane evacuation route in Walton County.  Also at this time, there are no fuel shortages, but with the current forecast, that could change.

Due to the potential of life threatening storm surge and winds predicted to accompany this storm, Walton County Emergency Management has an issued a Mandatory Evacuation order for the following evacuation zones: 

– Evacuation Zone A 
– Evacuation Zone B 
– Evacuation Zone C 

Storm surge potentials ae forecast to be between 3’ to 6’ above ground level.

Confidence is increasing in a landfall in the vicinity of Panama City, but still could be anywhere from Destin to Apalachicola. 

Tropical storm force winds spreading into coastal areas by early Wednesday morning. Strongest winds likely east of Pensacola. Diminishing Wednesday evening.

The chance of hurricane force winds exist east of Navarre, during the day on Wednesday. This will be track dependent and the storm would need to move closer to Okaloosa County to realize hurricane conditions. 

Rainfall of 6” to 10”, with isolated higher amounts are possible across Walton County.

CHELCO staff anticipate a potential for Hurricane Michael to cause widespread power outages, which may take hours or days to restore.

Power restoration will begin once it is safe for crews to do so. Crews will be dispatched during the storm only to respond to emergencies. In preparation, 100 additional sister cooperative and contracted
individuals are currently on stand-by to assist CHELCO in restoration. Additional line workers will be
brought in if the damage exceeds current predictions.

Once the conditions are safe, crews will assess the damage and restore power to the greatest number of people as possible first. The order of repair is subject to damage and conditions but generally follows this order: transmission lines, substations, main distribution lines, tap lines, then, service lines to individual homes and buildings.

CHELCO offices will be closed Wednesday, Oct. 10, but are expected to open Thursday. Our Santa Rosa Beach location may remain closed subject to hurricane damage and road accessibility. Members can also follow CHELCO on Facebook @myCHELCO or CHELCO.com for office hours, outage information, storm safety and preparation information.

All Walton County Government Offices will be closed. This includes the Board of County Commission Offices, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections and Clerk of Courts.

The Walton County School System will be closed for students and staff.

All City of DeFuniak Springs Offices will be closed.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

From the office of Emergency Management, they are advising the following:

Stay off all roads and shelter in place NOW

Highway 98 is no longer passable

High wind speeds throughout Franklin County especially along the bridges.

Trees and powerlines are down throughout the county

Do not get out of your vehicle unless it is to save a life

Franklin County and Gulf County bridges are now closed

Do not call the Sheriff’s Office to report power outages. Call Duke Energy outage hotline at 1-800-228-8485.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

  • Santa Rosa County remains under a hurricane warning and storm surge watch. 
  • Confidence is increasing in a landfall in the vicinity of Panama City, but still could be anywhere from Destin to Apalachicola.
  • If the forecast track holds, the potential for hurricane conditions will be limited to areas east of Navarre.
  • Tropical Storm conditions (at least in frequent gusts) are likely west to Pensacola in the outer rain bands.
  • A high risk of rip currents and dangerous surf will impact the coast through Thurs.
  • For more information, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov/#michael.
  • Santa Rosa County Emergency Operations Center is currently at a Level 2 (essential personnel) and will activate at Level 1 (all ESFs – Emergency Support Functions) Tues. at 1:30 p.m.
  • The Santa Rosa Commission approved a Local State of Emergency at 9 a.m. on Mon., Oct. 8. A local state of emergency allows for the county to request assistance if needed and gives staff the approval to activate emergency plans without going through a formal board approval process.
  • Emergency management staff will be monitoring conditions overnight.
  • Public works crews have implemented their storm preparation protocol which includes fueling of equipment, stocking vehicles, placing employees on standby for after-hours road clearing, staging equipment, and clearing of culverts, grates and any known blocked drainage features.
  • The tolls for Garcon Point Bridge have been lifted until further notice.

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