Government agencies announce closures ahead of hurricane

Putnam County government offices will be closed today and Monday in preparation of Hurricane Irma, which could hit the area this weekend.

On Thursday, interim County Administrator Stacey Manning announced closures and adjustments to the county’s meeting schedule.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center projected the eye of the hurricane, currently a Category 5 storm, would be over the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to Putnam County at about 8 a.m. Monday.

Manning in an email said the county was closing its offices so employees could stay safe, look after their family and property, and assume emergency roles during the hurricane.

“All Putnam County (Board of County Commissioners) offices will be closed on Friday in order to give employees time to prepare to protect themselves, their families and their property,” Manning said Thursday in an email. “We will also be closed on Monday as this is likely to be when we here in Putnam County feel the brunt of the storm.”

The Clerk of Courts and Property Appraiser’s offices will be closed to the public today, Monday and Tuesday.

City of Palatka officials said city offices would be closed Monday and Tuesday. Trash pick-up for the city will be once a week starting next week but shouldn’t extend four weeks.

Manning said normal operation would resume Tuesday, and all employees are expected to return to work to perform post storm activities.

Department leaders are expected to monitor their email for important notices, Manning said, and distribute necessary information to their employees.

Adjustments to the county’s meeting schedule also were made because of the hurricane.

County commission meetings are usually the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, and this month, the county had a budget hearing scheduled the afternoon of each commission meeting.

But Tuesday’s meeting has been canceled and pushed back a week.

“Due to the potential inability of our citizens to participate in (commission) meetings resulting from Hurricane Irma damage, all BOCC meetings previously scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12 are canceled,” Manning said in an email.

The board will have its meetings 9 a.m. – and its budget hearings and any necessary Planning and Development Services hearings 5:05 p.m. – Sept. 19 and Oct. 3.

Instead of have its monthly workshop Sept. 19, the board will meet for its workshop 9 a.m. Sept. 26.

County commission meetings and workshops take place at 2509 Crill Ave. in Palatka.