Media Release

Tropical Storm Hermine Update, School Closures, and Shelters Opening 09-01-16 12:15 p.m.

Thursday, September 1, 2016 12:00 PM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Alachua County, as well as all of N.E. Florida and S.E. Georgia, except Flagler, Marion, and Putnam Counties. As of 9 a.m., today, September 1, 2016, Alachua County is in a Local State of Emergency. Due to Tropical Storm Hermine, State offices are closing at noon today. Other than emergency services, County government and judicial offices are closed tomorrow, September 2.

After consulting with Emergency Management Services, Alachua County Public Schools will be closing schools on Friday, due to Tropical Storm Hermine. All after-school activities today and tomorrow are also being cancelled. Parents of students in both the Extended Day Enrichment Program and the 21st Century programs are asked to pick up their children from school by 4 p.m. today. 21st Century program buses will not be running this afternoon. Parents, please contact your child's school if you have any questions.

Although no mandatory evacuation is in place, shelters will open at 2 p.m. today. General population shelters are a last resort, and should only be used by those living in homes that are potentially unsafe in high winds (e.g. mobile homes), people who live in flood prone areas, and people who have nowhere else to go. The Alachua County Senior Center (5701 N.W. 34th Blvd, Gainesville) will serve as a special needs shelter. This shelter is for those with special medical needs, such as oxygen dependency (Those in need of transportation assistance, please call 352-955-2580 or 352-955-2577). The Easton Newberry Sports Complex (24880 N.W. 16th Ave, Newberry) will serve as a general population shelter.

The special needs shelter has cots available. However, general population shelters do not, so bring any needed bedding. When packing to go to a shelter, please bring special dietary foods, baby food, diapers (and other child necessities), prescription medications, a small cooler of ice if refrigeration is needed as the shelter cannot be responsible for your medications. Also bring spare clothing, personal care items (hygiene, toiletries, etc.), spare eyeglasses/contacts, and identification.

Those with pets may bring them to the shelter, but Alachua County Animal Services will take custody of pets and bring them to their facility until the sheltering event is over, as pets are not allowed in the shelters. Those with questions, call 311.

The storm has sustained winds of 60 mph. There is currently the potential for winds speeds between 38-73 mph. Based on the latest forecast, the most likely time period of potential tropical storm force winds for our area is between 11 p.m. tonight until 10 a.m. tomorrow. Isolated tornadoes are likely, particularly near and south of the system’s track on Friday. Further strengthening forecast during next 18 hours, and the storm may possibly become a hurricane prior to landfall by this evening or early Friday morning.

Localized flooding from pockets of heavy rainfall is possible. Normally flood prone areas could flood during heavy rain.

The 311 Rumor Control phone number is now active. Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Tropical Storm Hermine. For life threatening emergencies call 911. For emergencies that are not life threatening call 352-955-1818.

View the National Weather Service in Jacksonville’s latest briefing package for Tropical Storm Hermine.

Those with pets should visit the Alachua County Animal Services Disaster Preparedness website for helpful information.

Alachua County Public Works Department has set up a sandbag location at the roadside park, located at 11855 NW US HWY 441, Gainesville. The roadside park is located on the east side of US 441, five miles north of the Highway Patrol Station.

View the location on google maps.

Sandbags are available for residents of Alachua County, with a limit to 10 bags per resident. Bags and sand will be provided. Residents should bring a shovel, as they will be responsible for filling the bags. Bags will be available between 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

View information on the proper placement of sandbags.

Alachua County encourages everyone to have a basic disaster supply kit, and to check the kit for readiness.

View a checklist of items that should be included in this kit.

Residents are also encouraged to stay informed about major storm conditions by following Alachua County on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the County’s press releases.

For more information about sandbags, contact the Alachua County Public Works Department at 352-374-5245.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).