Palm Beach County to open 4 shelters for Hurricane Isaias

Palm Beach County to open 4 shelters for Hurricane Isaias
Palm Beach County to open 4 shelters for Hurricane Isaias (Source: WPTV)

Palm Beach County said Friday evening that due to track changes and storm intensity of Hurricane Isaias, four general population shelters and a pet-friendly shelter will open for residents that live in Evacuation Zone A.

The shelters will open starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Evacuation Zone A is for residents living in a manufactured/mobile home or sub-standard housing.

The county is now under a hurricane warning, meaning sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

"This is a trying and taxing time here in Palm Beach County," Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said during a Friday afternoon news conference.

Kerner said this is the first time in history that the county has been under two different states of emergency -- one for the pandemic and the other for a hurricane.

Palm Beach County has contacted all special needs shelter clients to inquire on their need to be sheltered at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

The four general population shelters are:

  • Lake Shore Middle School: 425 W Canal St. N, Belle Glade
  • Palm Beach Gardens High School: 4245 Holly Dr., Palm Beach Gardens
  • Palm Beach Central High School: 8499 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington
  • Park Vista High School: 7900 Jog Rd., Lake Worth
  • Animals-only shelter - West Boynton Recreation Center: 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth

The school district said Friday they are working with county officials to potentially open some schools Saturday as general population shelters.

NEWS CONFERENCE: Palm Beach County provides update on Hurricane Isaias

The county said residents are strongly urged to shelter in place, if safe to do so, because of the coronavirus.

People using designated shelters will be screened, temperatures taken and required to wear facial coverings. Facial coverings are required for everyone over the age of 2.

Shelters will be setup to accommodate social distancing. Officials said residents should be prepared to bring cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes or other cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.

The Emergency Information Center, 561-712-6400, is staffed 24 hours a day for residents with questions regarding sheltering and hurricane preparedness.

The wind threat has increased for South Florida and tropical storm-force winds are likely starting Saturday afternoon in Palm Beach County, according to director of emergency management Bill Johnson.

NEWS CONFERENCE: Palm Beach County provides update on Hurricane Isaias

"Because of COVID, we feel you are safer at home," Johnson said.

Before it was announced Friday evening, Johnson said people who live in a mobile homes are encouraged to stay with a friend or a hotel during the storm.

All county parks and beaches will be closed on Saturday, Palm Beach County administrator Verdenia Baker said.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw emphasized not to have parties during the hurricane amid the pandemic and stressed to keep wearing your mask.

"Don't make us spend our time coming to block parties and gathering when we need to be doing something else," Bradshaw said.

The sheriff urged everyone to "take a deep breathe" because this is not a Category 5 hurricane.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 33,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Palm Beach County, including 815 deaths.

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