North Central Florida prepares for Idalia

Tropical Storm Idalia is projected to strengthen into a hurricane and hit landfall Tuesday evening.
Tropical Storm Idalia is projected to strengthen into a hurricane and hit landfall Tuesday evening.
National Hurricane Center

Multiple school districts and public offices will be closed throughout North Central Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for Tropical Storm Idalia.

While still considered a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center projects Idalia to potentially strengthen into a major hurricane, so a hurricane warning is now in effect as of 4:57 p.m. Rainfall is expected to reach 4-6 inches starting Tuesday evening.

According to an Alachua County press release, the Alachua County Ready website is live and will have the latest storm information. The latest weather forecasts can be found at weather.gov/jax.

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Alachua County offices will be closing at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and all day Wednesday. Offices will reopen based on the storm’s impact.

Emergency shelters in Alachua County will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, including for the general population, pet-friendly shelters and special medical needs shelters.

General Population shelters:

  • Easton Newberry Archery Center (24880 N.W. 16th Ave, Newberry)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center (1028 N.E. 14th Street, Gainesville)

Special needs shelter:

  • Alachua County Senior Center (5701 N.W. 34th Blvd., Gainesville)

Alachua County Emergency Management provides this list to start a disaster kit in its All-Hazards Preparedness Guide: 

  • Water (one gallon per person for at least 5 days) 
  • Food (non-perishable, at least a 5-day supply) 
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio plus a NOAA weather radio with tone alert 
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries) 
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Manual can opener for food (if the kit contains canned food) 
  • Local and evacuation maps 
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation 
  • Prescription drugs (two-week supply) and copies of prescriptions 
  • Store your information, such as passports, driver’s licenses, insurance and social security cards, birth and marriage certificates, in water-proof bags. 

Alachua County has activated the 311 Rumor Control phone number to verify the most up to the minute information on the storm. For life threatening emergencies, call 911. For emergencies that are not life threatening, call 352-955-1818.

Additional resources:

  • Sign up for email, phone and text notifications at www.alertgnv.org.
  • Visit GRU.com/StormCentral for a list of important phone numbers in the event of service emergencies, as well as a link to the Gainesville Regional Utilities outage map with estimated time of restoration.
  • Develop a family emergency plan and build an emergency preparedness kit. Visit ready.gov for details.
  • Visit www.safeGNV.org for additional planning tips and all emergency management updates.

On Monday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Executive Order 23-172 amended Saturday’s order, expanding the number of counties under state of emergency from 33 to 46. The counties included in the updated order are:

Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Nassau, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia and Wakulla counties.

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