Alachua County issues mandatory evacuation for mobile homes, opens five new shelters

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Alachua County on Saturday issued a mandatory evacuation for residents living in mobile homes, manufactured homes, RVs and homes in flood-prone areas.

The county also opened five new shelters, bringing the total to 18. Officials urge residents to evacuate and stay with friends, family or in a hotel. They say shelters should be considered a last resort. All shelters are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The new general population shelters will be at Eastside High School, High Springs Community School, Oak View Middle School and Talbot Elementary. Westwood Middle School has been added as a second special needs shelter.

Here is the updated list of Alachua County shelters:

Special needs shelter

- Alachua County Senior Center at 5701 NW 34th Blvd. in Gainesville.

- Westwood Middle School at 3215 NW 15 Ave., Gainesville

Anyone needing to arrange special needs transportation may call the county beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at the following numbers: (352) 955-2575, (352) 955-2576, (352) 955-2577, or (352) 955-2579. The county defines special needs as residents who "require assistance that exceeds services provided at a general population shelters because of physical, mental, cognitive impairment, or sensory disabilities. Special needs shelters are intended to provide, to the extent possible under emergency conditions, an environment that can sustain an individual's level of health."

Pet-friendly shelters

Anyone wanting to shelter with pets should go to the Waldo Community School at 14450 NE 148th Ave. in Waldo. You're encouraged to bring basic pet supplies such as collars, leashes, crates, carriers, towels, blankets, pet medications, food and proof of vaccinations. Animals without vaccinations will have them done on site to prevent the spread of illness. Animal Services and support staff will be on-site to make sure both animals and people are safe.

Eastside High School, 1201 SE 43 St. in Gainesville is now a pet-friendly only shelter. Evacuees without pets will be guided to other shelters.

The Easton Newberry Sports Complex at 24880 NW 16th Ave, Newberry is no longer accepting animals. It is still available as a general population shelter.

General population shelters

Alachua Elementary School, 13800 Northwest 152nd Place, Alachua.

Archer Community School, 14533 SW 170th St, Archer.

Buchholz High School, 5510 NW 27th Ave, Gainesville.

Chiles Elementary School, 2525 School House Rd, Gainesville.

High Springs Community School, 1015 N. Main, High Springs.

Kanapaha Middle School, 5005 SW 75th St, Gainesville.

Meadowbrook Elementary School, 11525 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville.

Oak View Middle School, 1203 SW 250 St., Newberry

Rawlings Elementary School, 3500 NE 15th St, Gainesville.

Santa Fe High School, 16213 US-441, Alachua.

Shell Elementary School, 21633 65th Ave, Hawthorne.

Talbot Elementary School, 5701 NW 34th Blvd., Gainesville.

Williams Elementary School, 1245 SE 7th Ave, Gainesville.

The county says general population shelters should be considered a last resort, only used by those living in homes that are potentially unsafe in high winds, are in flood-prone areas or don't have anywhere else to go. The general population shelters will not provide cots, beds or bedding. You're encouraged to bring special dietary foods, child necessities, prescription medications, clothing, personal care items and a small cooler.

To stay informed about current conditions and threats in Alachua County you're encouraged to call 311, the Alachua County Information and Rumor Control Line. The number cannot receive texts.

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