St. Lucie County Urges Hutchinson Island Residents to Evacuate for Hurricane Matthew
FORT PIERCE – St. Lucie County will begin a mandatory evacuation for the barrier island starting Thursday, Oct. 6. Residents living on North and South Hutchinson Island who are considering leaving the Treasure Coast should do so today.
The evacuation order applies to all of Hutchinson Island and manufactured/mobile homes (due to wind), as well as homes in low-lying areas. This evacuation order is due to the predicted storm surge of 3-5 feet associated with Hurricane Matthew. Residents are urged to follow the evacuation order, as once conditions worsen, public safety officials will not put first responders in harm’s way.
If residents on the barrier island have not pick up re-entry plaques; they should bring along proof of residency such as a valid driver’s license or utilities bill.
St. Lucie County, as well as all of the Treasure Coast, is under a hurricane warning. Hurricane Matthew is a major hurricane which threatens Florida’s coast and a slight shift to the west could dramatically impact St. Lucie County. A wide range of weather impacts could occur locally, including strong winds, heavy rain, storm surge and potential flooding.
Updates are available at www.stlucieco.gov/hurricane or by calling the Public Information Hotline at 772-460-HELP (4357).
St. Lucie County’s Public Safety Department has been working with community partners to transport residents to the designated Special Needs Shelter (Havert L. Fenn Center, 2300 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce). If residents have not registered, but feel that they qualify for the Special Needs Shelter they can contact 772-462-8100.
The American Red Cross will open three general population shelters on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 8 a.m.
· Lakewood Park Elementary School, 7800 Indrio Road, Fort Pierce
· Samuel Gaines Elementary, 2250 Jenkins Road, Fort Pierce
· Treasure Coast High School, 1000 SW Darwin Blvd., Port St. Lucie
Residents planning to stay in a shelter should bring water, food, clothing, sheets, personal items, medications, important papers and miscellaneous items such as games, battery powered radios. No pets, alcohol or firearms are allowed in shelters.
St. Lucie County beaches, parks and preserves are closed through Saturday, Oct. 8. Government offices are closed Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7, while all St. Lucie County Branch Libraries will be closed through the weekend, resuming normal hours on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
As information changes, residents are reminded that information will be posted to St. Lucie County’s website (www.stlucieco.gov/hurricane) and social media sites (www.facebook.com/StLucieGov and Twitter @StLucieGov).
St. Lucie County’s Emergency Operations Center is expected to be fully activated Thursday, Oct. 6 at 8 a.m.