South Florida emergency officials monitor Hurricane Dorian’s progress: updates for Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Hendry, Glades and St. Lucie Counties

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY UPDATE

OKEECHOBEE – Okeechobee County Emergency Operations continues to monitor the forecast for Hurricane Dorian and its potential impact to Okeechobee County. All necessary preparations are in place regarding residential sheltering, special needs shelter, and pet friendly shelter.

County Emergency Operations continue to receive questions regarding shelter openings. At this time, county officials are continuing to monitor the forecast before making a determination on opening of shelter facilities.

At this time, no shelters have opened in Okeechobee County.

These shelter announcements will be released well in advance of Hurricane Dorian’s impact to Okeechobee County.

Okeechobee County Schools had already planned to be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. The schools are closed until further notice. A decision about reopening public schools will be made after the wind danger from the hurricane has passed, any shelters that had been operating in school buildings are closed and the schools determined to be safe.

Courts closed
Chief Judge Lawrence Mirman has directed, effective noon on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, all courthouses in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit will close due to the impending threat of Hurricane Dorian.  The courthouses in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie Counties shall remain closed until further notice.
 
Regular court operations are suspended effective that date and time and until further notice.  All court dockets, hearings, trials, and proceedings of any kind, including foreclosure sales, are cancelled except for first appearance hearings; ex parte injunctions for dating violence, domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking; and ex parte hearings for temporary risk protection orders. 
 
Shelter and detention hearings are suspended until further notice.
 
The public, media, and members of the legal community may visit the Circuit’s website www.circuit19.org or call 772-742-9229 for further information about the status of court operations.  Following the storm event, the telephonic information will be updated twice per day by 7 a.m. and by 7 p.m. or as otherwise directed by the Chief Judge.
 
Questions in regard to jury duty should be directed to the Clerk of Court in the juror’s county.

GLADES COUNTY UPDATE

GLADES COUNTY – The Special Needs Shelter is still planning on opening at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1 at West Glades Elementary (2586 State Hwy 731, LaBelle, FL 33935).

The General Population Shelter is on standby.

County and Constitutional offices are still closed Monday (Sept. 2) and Tuesday (Sept. 3).

HENDRY COUNTY UPDATE
LABELLE – Hendry County Emergency Management (EM) is continuing to monitor Hurricane Dorian. 

Due to the uncertainty of the forecast, Hendry County residents should remain vigilant, stay tuned to EM social media, local alerts and local media. 

Hendry and Glades Counties are also ensuring persons with Special Needs have the option to shelter. 
Persons with special needs who wish to, can begin sheltering on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.n, at West Glades School – 2586 County Road 731, LaBelle, FL 33935.

This shelter is for persons with special needs only. 

Special Needs residents must register with Hendry County Emergency Management before going to the shelter. The English and Spanish versions of the application can be found at http://www.hendryfla.net/special_needs_program.php 
Please drop off or fax the completed application to Hendry County Emergency Management:
4425 West State Road 80 LaBelle, Florida 33935
Fax: 863-674-4040.

The potential for flooding still remains in Hendry County. 

Residents with questions or concerns are asked to call the United Way hotline at 2-1-1.

Residents can text “HENDRYFLA” to 888777 to receive local up-to-date alerts. 

Hendry County EM will continue to send out communications as the storm track is updated. Please check our website www.preparehendry.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hendrycou

PALM BEACH COUNTY UPDATE
WEST PALM BEACH – The National Weather Service reports the path of Hurricane Dorian is moving further east.

However, the storm has been very unpredictable. Palm Beach County staff is continuously monitoring the track and updating plans to address the effects of potential deteriorating weather conditions. Residents are urged to continue to plan for tropical storm force winds, storm surge, localized flooding, and a possible change in a track that would bring Hurricane Dorian closer to our coast.
 
The Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center plans to go to a Level 1 full activation at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
 
Since Thursday, the Emergency Information Center (EIC) has been operating at 24-hour full activation. The EIC has handled over 3,000 calls from the public regarding special needs, evacuation zones and shelter locations. Residents can contact the EIC at 561-712-6400.
 
County Engineering & Public Works has taken down several non-essential hundred traffic signal heads to reduce weight and minimize damage.
 
Palm Tran service will be free on Sunday. Palm Tran will be running its Saturday level of service and schedule on Sunday.

Palm Beach County and school district staff are preparing 15 general population emergency shelters, as well as the special needs shelter and the pet-friendly shelter. The planned opening of shelters morning has been delayed. Dialogue will continue with the National Weather Service and State Division of Emergency Management on future track changes to finalize the timing for the opening of shelters.
 
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office assures that the immigration status of any person coming to a shelter will not be checked.
 
Public schools in Palm Beach County will be closed Tuesday.
 
Hurricane Dorian has caused a couple of meeting changes of the Board of County Commissioners. The special meeting of the board set for 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 3, will be rescheduled. The budget public hearing set for Monday evening (September 3) has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. on September 10.
 
Price Gouging – a state of emergency is in effect. Please report any suspected instances of price gouging, scams or fraud. The price gouging hotline is 866-9no-scam (866-966-7226).

For continuing information on Hurricane Dorian, and for more information on the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management and hurricane preparedness, please visit: www.pbcgov.com/dem, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY UPDATE

FORT PIERCE – ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Hurricane Dorian is expected to impact St. Lucie County with tropical storm force winds and heavy rain bands for a prolonged timeframe Monday, Sept. 2 through Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Mandatory evacuations are not being issued for St. Lucie County residents. However, residents in low-lying coastal areas, manufactured homes/mobile homes and on the barrier island are encouraged to evacuate. You will not need a re-entry placard to enter the island after the storm.

 St. Lucie County’s Public Safety staff, in cooperation with St. Lucie Public Schools and the America Red Cross, will open shelters on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m., ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
• Special Needs Shelter: Havert L. Fenn, 2000 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, FL 34982
• Pet-Friendly Shelter Fort Pierce Westwood Academy, 1801 Panther Lane, Fort Pierce, FL 34947
• General Population Shelter: Fort Pierce Central High School, 4101 S 25th St., Fort Pierce, FL 34981
The St. Lucie County Board of County Commission meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 3 and the Code Compliance meeting for Wednesday, Sept. 4 have been canceled.
Public Information Lines
Public Information Line – 772-460-HELP (4357) – will be open Sunday, Aug. 31 and Monday, Sept. 1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please reserve 911 for emergency calls.
For more information about St. Lucie County’s preparations and precautionary measures visit: www.stlucieco.gov/hurricane or on social media @StLucieGov.

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