Storm Information as Forecasted by the National Weather Service
- Santa Rosa County is under a hurricane warning. A warning means hurricane force conditions are possible within 24 hours from issuance.
- Hurricane Michael is moving toward the north near 9 mph (15 km/h). A northward to north-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico this evening, then move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday and Tuesday night. The center of Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 978 mb (28.88 inches). For more information, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov/#michael.
Actions Taken by Santa Rosa County
- Santa Rosa County Emergency Operations Center is currently at a Level 3 (monitoring) status. It will activate to a Level 2 (essential personnel) on Tues. at 7 a.m. and Level 1 (all ESFs - Emergency Support Functions) Tues. at 1:30 p.m.
- The Santa Rosa Commission approved a Local State of Emergency at 9 a.m. on Mon., Oct. 8. A local state of emergency allows for the county to request assistance if needed and gives staff the approval to activate emergency plans without going through a formal board approval process.
- Emergency management staff will be monitoring conditions overnight.
- Public works crews have implemented their storm preparation protocol which includes fueling of equipment, stocking vehicles, placing employees on standby for after-hours road clearing, staging equipment, and clearing of culverts, grates and any known blocked drainage features.
Evacuations and shelters
- Officials are now including Navarre Beach in the voluntary evacuations due to the slight westward shift of the forecast path and the increased chance of a 4-to-5 ft. surge on Navarre Beach.
- Residents of mobile homes, in campers or at campsites or in low-lying areas are recommended to evacuate. A recommended evacuation is a request for evacuation. Residents in those areas are encouraged to seek refuge on their own initiative and independently find accommodations in a safe area.
- Residents who choose to evacuate are reminded that you need not travel outside the county. It is often easier to shelter with family or friends who live outside the called evacuation zones, a hotel or a public shelter.
- The Milton Community Center, located at 5629 Byrom Street in Milton, will open at 1 p.m. on Tues. for evacuees. This facility is pet-friendly and also equipped to accommodate those with special needs. Pet owners must stay with their pets. Those with special needs must come with their own caregiver. Pet owners and special needs residents should be registered with Santa Rosa County.
- Bring the following supplies with you to the shelter:
- Wallet/purse (including personal identification
- House and car keys
- Proper clothing
- Family pet(s)
- Three days' worth of personal supplies to meet individual needs of your family and pet(s).
- Toiletries and personal items.
- Blankets or sleeping bags.
- Games or toys for children; books for adults.
- Special items for infants or elderly family members.
- Any special dietary needs.
- Food and water for the first 24 hours
- Shelters are opened to ensure your safety. Remember they are crowded and usually uncomfortable. It is recommended that other arrangements be made to stay at a hotel or with a friends or family in a well-constructed home out of the evacuation area that is properly protected to withstand hurricane force winds.
- Anyone needing transportation assistance to a shelter, call (850) 983-4636. We will only provide transportation to a designated shelter.
- Santa Rosa County Offices
- Santa Rosa County BOCC, Clerk of Court, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Supervisor of Elections offices will close at noon Tues. and remain closed Wed. Offices will reopen Thurs.
- Santa Rosa Court System
- Santa Rosa County courts will close at noon Tues. and remain closed Wed. Offices will reopen Thurs.
- City of Milton
- City of Milton offices will be closed at noon Tues. for non-essential personnel and remain closed Wed. Offices will reopen Thurs.
- Santa Rosa Public Schools
- For Santa Rosa County parents and employees to make safe and timely preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Michael, the Santa Rosa County School District is announcing the following information. This information supersedes the release earlier today.
- Due to the change in the forecast of Hurricane Michael, District schools and offices will be closed on Tues., Oct. 9. All school related activities on Tuesday must be concluded by noon.
- District schools will be closed on Wed., Oct. 10. A decision regarding school-related afternoon and evening activities for Wed. will be made during the day on Wed.
- A decision on school operation for Thurs., Oct. 11 will be announced on Wed.
- Monitor the district website and local media outlets for updates, as any change to the current forecast track will necessitate changes to the current plan of action.
- Pensacola State College
Based on a review of the latest weather forecast, PSC will close at noon on Tues., Oct. 9, and remain closed through Wed., Oct. 10. This closure includes all classes, evening classes, school activities, and online classes.
- At the present time, PSC is scheduled to resume normal operational hours on Thurs., Oct. 11. If that should change, students, faculty, and staff will be notified through the PSC Alert System, social media, PSC website, and local media.
- Council on Aging of West Florida
- COAWF will suspend all services Wed., Oct. 10 including:
- All senior dining sites in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties will be closed Wednesday.
- The Retreat adult day care will be closed Wednesday.
- Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions will not report to their schools or client homes Wednesday.
- Meals on Wheels will not be delivered on Wednesday, but will be delivered on Thursday. Clients scheduled for Wednesday delivery will be notified about the delivery change.
- The main Council on Aging office will be closed Wednesday, though the agency’s answering service will remain in operation, able to note questions and needs for service.
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Officials will begin shutdown procedures at the park’s island units to all visitor use and access starting tonight, October 8, due to the potential impacts from Hurricane Michael.
- The Fort Pickens, Perdido Key, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Areas will close tonight at their normal operating time, and will not reopen tomorrow. All campers in the park’s Fort Pickens Campground have been ordered to evacuate by 7 p.m. tonight, October 8.
- The Fort Barrancas and Naval Live Oaks Areas will remain on their normal operating schedules at this time, but their status may change with conditions.
- Florida Forestry Service
- Florida Forest Service is shutting down its operations, offices, recreation and day-use areas in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties starting Tuesday. The closure will last through close of business Thursday.
- Sacred Heart Clinic inside the Walgreens location in Navarre will be closed Tuesday.
Santa Rosa County has sand available at several locations. Residents should bring shovels to fill and load their own bags. Sand bags are available at Lowe's and Hall's Hardware for a nominal fee. Sand is available at:
- Pine Forest and Carroll in Milton
- Citrus and Leisure in Navarre
- Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze
- Pace Fire Rescue in Pace
Road Closures/Traffic Conditions
- Choctaw Field Rd. has closed beginning at the beginning of the dirt road portion due to anticipated tropical storm surge. It will remain closed until future notice.
- Heavy rain may quickly flood low-lying areas including roads and bridges.
- Standing water creates a serious road hazard, even when only a portion of the roadway is flooded. Turn around, don't drown!
- Dangerous road conditions can be reported to (850) 983-5372.
- Bridges will be closed by law enforcement or FDOT at the onset of sustained tropical storm force winds of 39 mph. BRIDGES ARE NOT CLOSED IN ADVANCE.
- County road and bridge closures are posted online.
- Florida road closures are available at www.fl511.com or a free phone call to 511.
- FDOT has suspended interstate and highway maintenance and construction indefinitely to allow for an increase in traffic as motorists evacuate from the northwest Florida coastline area. All rail, transit and seaport facilities are functioning as normal. Presently, no bridges are closed due to the storm and bridge inspection crews are on standby for any potential inspections.
- FDOT will assist first responders with traffic control, detours or road closures, but the department will suspend emergency response activities if Hurricane Michael's sustained winds reach tropical storm force of 45 mph or higher. Once conditions improve, crews will go back to working around the clock to clear all roadways.
- Please do not call 9-1-1 to report power outages. Power outages should be reported to Gulf Power at 1-800-GU-Power (1-800-487-6937) or Escambia River Cooperative, Inc. at 1-877-OUT-EREC (1-877-688-3732).
- Residents with storm damage can report damage online including submitting photos at www.santarosa.fl.gov or by calling (850) 983-4636.
Steps Residents Should Take Now
- Review your family disaster plan. Don't forget special plans for elderly, handicapped, children and pets.
- Turn off any automatic sprinkler systems and do not water your lawn until the storm passes.
- Know your evacuation zone. Remember, evacuation zones are now A-E. Use the interactive evacuation zone tool found at www.santarosa.fl.gov/KnowYourZone by typing in your address to see what zone you live in.
- Make plans to secure your property. Check for, fix or remove loose items on your structures/homes. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and down spouts.
- Fill vehicle gas tank.
- Get cash and secure important papers and valuables.
- Refill medications.
- Shutter your windows.
- Prepare boats.
- Help neighbors with their preparations.
- Make final preparations to secure your home so you can leave if an evacuation order is issued.
- Make sure your hurricane kit contains non-perishable food, water, medications for three to five days for each family member and pet.
- Know what low-lying areas near your home are subject to flooding such as creeks, drainage channels, streams and bayous.
- Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management's latest all-hazards disaster guide is available online at www.santarosa.fl.gov.
General Disaster Information
Citizen Information Line
- The Citizens Information Line will open Tues. morning: (850) 983-INFO (4636).