Evacuations are underway in Palm Beach County. County officials issued mandatory evacuations for zones A, B, and E. Voluntary evacuations are in effect for Zone C.
The western Palm Beach County communities in Zone E including Belle Glade, South Bay, and Pahokee were issued a mandatory evacuation order beginning Friday at 10 a.m.
This is the time for you to know your evacuation zone. You can download the Palm Beach County Dart app to find out what zone you live in. The CodeRed app will alert you when there’s been an evacuation ordered in your community.
The key is to have a destination and a travel plan.
“The only think I’m nervous about is just the traffic and running out of gas,” said Eleonor Shaw of West Palm Beach.
Shaw lives in zone C and is still weigher her options to stay or evacuate.
“We’re going to try to decide by tonight and see what’s going on,” said Shaw.
County officials have been communicated with the National Hurricane Center to predict where the most dangerous storm surges could happen.
“It’s very scary. It’s a giant storm and it’s Mother Nature and nobody knows what’s going to happen so yea I’ve had some sleepless nights. I’m sure everybody is very worried,” said Rebecca Walton of West Palm Beach.
The Town of Palm Beach was given an evacuation order on Friday. Nancy Powers was packed up and ready to leave the island.
“As soon as the storm started coming we started packing,” said Powers. “I got my daughter, I got the dog, I got a fish in the car.”
Others who are not in mandatory evacuation zones are still making plans to travel.
“My brother lives up in Daytona so we’re hoping it’s like a category 3 by the time it gets there,” said Ryan Smith.
The Emergency Manager for West Palm Beach is urging residents to leave if they are told to evacuate.
“If you’re in an evacuation zone, make sure you evacuate because we’re not going to be able to get to you during storm conditions,” said Brent Bloomfield, Emergency Manager for City of West Palm Beach.
The West Palm Beach EOC is partially activated. Bloomfield asks that people who are leaving town follow the evacuation routes mapped out online. You can find more information at FloridaDisaster.org.
“It is as very strong storm. This is not Matthew. It’s not going to skirt us and us walk away free. I think we’re definitely going to be in some heavy winds at some point,” said Bloomfield.