Putnam County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Evacuation Zone A and low-lying areas as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida’s east coast.
Evacuation Zone A includes areas near the St. Johns River, including canals.
The order also includes those who live in mobile homes, recreational vehicles and boats.
According to Putnam County Emergency Services Battalion Chief Paul Flateau, residents in the affected areas have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to evacuate. He said those who do not evacuate can be charged with a misdemeanor.
“For those in the evacuation area, if you decide to stay, there’s a high likelihood we will not be able to get to you in an emergency situation,” said Col. Joe Wells of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. “We strongly urge everyone affected to follow the evacuation order.”
Residents with questions about the evacuation area can call Putnam County’s citizen information line at 329-1904.
Kip Bricker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said Putnam County will likely experience tropical storm conditions late Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening.
At 11:20 today, Bricker said Dorian was moving at 1 mph and hurricane warnings have been issued along the coast.
“For the area of Putnam County, there will still be a risk of seeing tropical storm force winds,” Bricker said. “But the area is a little bit away from the coast and west of I-95, we really expect the conditions to diminish.”
Bricker said there was a coastal flood warning in effect for the St. Johns River.
“Flooding will be a concern as water backs up and the storm makes its way northwards,” Bricker said. “But we do not expect other hurricane warnings to move inland.”
Bricker said tropical storm force conditions include sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph. “We’re looking at 30 to 40 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 50 to 60 mph into Putnam County, and three to six inches of rain, with some locally higher amounts.”