MARTIN COUNTY — As Tropical Storm Nicole approaches Florida’s east coast, local officials on Tuesday issued voluntary evacuations for residents in mobile homes and those who live in evacuation zones A spannd B, which include Hutchinson Island, Jupiter Island and Sewall’s Point.
In a newss conference, emergency management and county officials also announced five emergency shelters would open 8 a.m. Wednesday:
- Port Salerno Elementary School
- Jensen Beach High School
- Warfield Elementary School
- Anderson Middle School (special-needs shelter)
- Willoughby Learning Center (pet-friendly shelter)
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Residents can find more information about shelters at mspanrtin.fl.us/shelters.
County staff has cleared storm drains, positioned pumps in vulnerable areas and removed debris in preparation for the storm, according to Emergency Management Director Sally Waite.
“It’s important that you do not cut any vegetation or place any debris in the right-of-ways during the storm, as it may cause projectile damage from the strong winds,” Waite said. “Our Public Works Department will be on the roads assessing debris and flooding until conditions deteriorate on the roads.”
County Commission Chair Doug Smith urged residents to finish shopping and making preparations on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, emphasizing there’s still time to make plans.
Although the impacts of Nicole in Martin County are expected to be minimal compared to the damage seen on the west coast from Hurricane Ian, he said, boaters should be securing their vessels ahead of the expected high tides.
“We’re already dealing with a full moon, which already pushes those water levels much higher than normal,” Smith said.
Moreover, Sheriff William Snyder warned there would be power outages as the storm passes through. To restore power quicker, a Florida Power & Light liaison will be with deputies during the weather event.
“Electricity is the backbone of public safety,” Snyder said. “The sooner we get our power back on, the sooner we’ll get back to normal.”
“I think we’re all going to be just fine if we’ll be careful,” he added.