In Pinellas, Mandatory Evacuations, Beach Access Restrictions
Mandatory evacuations for certain Pinellas residents began this morning. Access to the beaches will also be restricted.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Officials here are reminding residents of mobile home parks and those in low-lying areas that mandatory evacuations began at 6 a.m. today (Sept. 8).
That’s several hours before shelters open at noon. And it’s four hours before officials restrict access to Pinellas beaches. The mandatory evacuation of Level A could be the first of at least two such orders. Pinellas County officials say they may extend the mandatory order to include Levels B and C.
Level A is under an evacuation order due to the potential risk of storm surge, a dome of water rapidly pushed ashore by strong winds. Coastal and low-lying areas are especially at risk for storm surge in Pinellas County. Residents in Level A should begin their evacuation plans immediately. The window for evacuation is from 6 a.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Sunday. All residents and businesses in Level A must evacuate their property and be in a safe shelter before the close of the evacuation window.
Residents may travel to and from their homes during the evacuation window period as they complete their preparations.
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the following:
All mobile home residents countywide
All residents who live in a Level A evacuation zone
All Level A special needs residents
Public shelters will be available starting at noon at these locations:
Tarpon Springs Middle School, 501 N Florida Ave., Tarpon Springs
Palm Harbor University High School, 1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor
Dunedin Highland Middle School, 70 Patricia Ave., Dunedin*
Oak Grove Middle School, 1370 S Belcher Road, Clearwater*
Largo High School, 410 Missouri Ave., Largo
Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg
John Hopkins Middle School, 701 16th St. S, St. Petersburg*
*Special needs/pet-friendly shelter
Residents are encouraged to first seek shelter with friends or family members who live in non-evacuation zones in Pinellas County. This will provide for more comfortable accommodations. Otherwise, they may go to a nearby emergency shelter. Sheltering locally will alleviate increased traffic congestion in other areas of the region.
Starting at 10 a.m. today (Sept. 8), access to the barrier islands will be restricted to:
Business owners and employees
Individuals with legitimate business needs
To gain access, individuals must provide their barrier island re-entry permit or photo I.D. and reasonable proof that they live or have legitimate business on the barrier islands. Examples of this include: vehicle registration, property tax or utility bill, proof of employment (pay stub or work I.D.) and work orders.
The county’s Citizen Information Center is also open to take questions from residents: (727) 464-4333.
For information about Pinellas County emergency operations, go to pinellascounty.org.
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