Media Release

10-05-16 3 p.m. Hurricane Matthew Update 311 Activated and Shelters Being Considered

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 3:00 PM

Hurricane MatthewALACHUA COUNTY, FL - To keep residents informed about current conditions and threats from Hurricane Matthew, the Alachua County 311 information and rumor control service has been activated. Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Hurricane Matthew. Residents can also call the normal phone number 352-264-6557. These numbers cannot receive texts.

Although the decision has not yet been made and no mandatory evacuation is expected, Alachua County is considering opening emergency shelters in preparation for Tropical Storm force winds from Hurricane Matthew.

For those considering using the emergency shelters, please remember that 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.

If opened, 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 352-955-2575 or 352-955-2576). The Easton Newberry Sports Complex (24880 N.W. 16th Ave, Newberry) will serve as a general population shelter. Other general population shelters are being considered in the Gainesville area.

The special needs shelter has cots available. However, general population shelters do not. 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.

Alachua County Animal Services is requesting that pet owners bring their pet directly to Animal Services (3400 N.E. 53rd Ave., Gainesville) prior to evacuating to a designated shelter during normal business hours (10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). After 5:30 p.m., Animal Services Field Officers will transport animals from the shelters to Animal Services but that service will be limited depending on weather conditions. Animal Services will hold all pets until the storm warning has been lifted in Alachua County at which time pet owners will be expected to pick up their pet. Animal Services Headquarter phone number is 352-264-6870. For after-hours call the non-emergency line at 352-955-1818 to reach the on-call Animal Services Officer.

Tropical Storm force winds are currently projected to hit Alachua County between 6 a.m. on Friday morning, through 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. These projections may change as the storm’s movement and speed changes.

View the National Weather Service in Jacksonville's latest briefing package for Hurricane Matthew.

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.

Residents are encouraged to have a basic emergency supply kit. View a list of recommended emergency supply kit items.

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, contact Alachua County Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton at 352-264-6979.


  • 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).