Palm Beach County Emergency Management officials continue to actively monitor Hurricane Irma and its progress toward South Florida. The Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center went to full activation (Level 1) this morning at 7 a.m.
Please do not become complacent and assume the worst won’t happen. Although the current models favor a more westerly track, this storm has been extremely unpredictable.
Beginning Saturday at 3 P.M. a countywide curfew will be in effect until further notice.
A person must have a legitimate purpose for being out past curfew hours. In addition to the curfew, the State of Emergency also prohibits the sale and/or distribution of alcohol as well as the sale and/or display of firearms.
This curfew is to ensure the safety of all citizens of Palm Beach County as well as the personal property and businesses in our county from looters and individuals taking advantage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement in municipal areas will have zero tolerance for looting.
Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for residential structures in Palm Beach County in Zone A, which includes mobile homes and low-lying areas prone to water intrusion, and Zone B which generally includes the barrier islands, land areas north and south of the Jupiter Inlet, and other surge-vulnerable areas along the Intracoastal Waterway.
A voluntary evacuation is in effect for residents in Zone C. Zone C generally includes properties from the Intracoastal waterway west to US Highway 1 in South County and Central County, and areas in close proximity to the Loxahatchee River and the northern tip of the Lake Worth Lagoon.
The Glades area evacuation zone includes the entire Lake Region including the communities of Lake Harbor, South Bay, Belle Glade, Pahokee, Pelican Lake and Canal Point. These evacuees were bused to shelters in other areas of the county.
Pick-ups began at 10 a.m. at Lake Shore Middle and Pahokee Middle schools. The evacuees were taken to Seminole Ridge High School and John I. Leonard High schools, respectively. The last bus was scheduled to leave at 5 p.m. However, we will keep a few buses at Pahokee Middle and Lakeshore Middle this evening until 7:30.
Tomorrow morning, evacuation shuttle service will be provided from 7 to 9 a.m. and will then be terminated.
Approximately 800 people were transported today from the Glades to shelters at Seminole Ridge and John I. Leonard High schools by Palm Tran and the School District. This figure does not include private transports.
If you are not in an evacuation zone, please shelter in place. We do not want people stranded on the roadways without fuel.
The current total occupancy of Palm Beach County emergency shelters is: 11,632
One shelter, Independence Middle School in Jupiter, is at capacity.
If you would like to volunteer to help staff a shelter, please call the United Way Volunteer Hotline at 561-375-6621.
Palm Tran Connection made more than 3,500 trips, transporting some of our region’s most vulnerable citizens.
In addition to evacuating citizens today, Palm Tran conducted a sweep of neighborhoods near Lake Okeechobee to help as many citizens as possible reach shelters.
Palm Tran’s general fixed-route service will end this evening at 8 p.m. Limited fixed-route service will be offered in the Glades area.
Airlines at Palm Beach International Airport will be providing their own individual schedules through their corporate public information.
The last scheduled flight (JetBlue) will depart PBIA at 9:04 p.m. tonight.
The airport terminal will be secured at 10 p.m. The airport is not an authorized shelter.
The traveling public should contact their individual airline for any flight scheduling information.
For continuing information on Hurricane Irma, 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.