Palm Beach County under hurricane watch as Dorian approaches

Mandatory evacuations in Zones A & B

JUPITER, Fla. – A hurricane watch is now in effect in Palm Beach County as Hurricane Dorian makes it's way towards Florida.

Residents in Palm Beach County woke up to find Dorian's projected path had shifted slightly, bringing more of South Florida back into the forecast cone.

Officials were quick to react, issuing evacuation orders for parts of Palm Beach County, effective 1 p.m. Sunday.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for Palm Beach County Zone A, which includes mobile homes, sub-standard housing 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 south along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Broward County line.

Several general population shelters will open at 1 p.m. Sunday. 

The general population shelters are:

  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elem. School, 1501 Avenue U, Riviera Beach
  • Independence Middle School, 4001 Greenway Dr., Jupiter
  • Lakeshore Middle School, 425 W Canal St N, Belle Glade
  • Pahokee Middle School, 850 Larrimore Rd, Pahokee
  • Palm Beach Gardens High School, 4245 Holly Dr., Palm Beach Gardens
  • Palm Beach Central High School, 8499 Forest Hill Blvd, Wellington
  • Park Vista High School, 7900 Jog Rd, Lake Worth

Two more general population shelters will open at 5 p.m. Sunday:

  • Forest Hill High School, 6901 Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach
  • Atlantic Community High School, 2455 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach

Additionally, a special needs shelter will open at the South Florida Fairgrounds and a pet-friendly shelter will welcome evacuees at West Boynton Recreation Center.

The special needs shelter is located at 9607 Southern Boulevard and the pet-friendly shelter can be found at 6000 Northtree Boulevard. It will only be open to residents in an evacuation zone and proof of residence is required. 

Also, each pet must be accompanied by only one owner. Additional family members can stay at the nearby shelter at Park Vista High School. 

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is assuring residents that they will not be checking the immigration status of anyone who comes to a shelter. 

Those choosing to stay in a shelter should bring a few days worth of water and clothes, a flashlight with extra batteries, a cell phone and a battery operated charger, medications and prescriptions, any special dietary foods or needs, cash, photocopies of valuable documents and things to keep busy, such as books, games and playing cards. 

It's worth nothing that most of Palm Beach County is not under the evacuation order. 

For information on where each evacuation zone is, visit readyPBC.com or contact the Palm Beach County Emergency Information Center at 561-712-6400.

Palm Beach International Airport will close to all commercial air travel on Monday. Travelers are encouraged to reach out to their airline for information on cancellations and service updates. 

In Jupiter, most homes and businesses are boarded up and shuttered, many with sandbags laid out.

Beaches in the area are shut down as well, with double red flags flying over the sand. 

One of the big concerns in the Jupiter area is beach erosion, not only because of the loss of land, but also because of turtle nesting. Sand has already receded almost up to the stakes that mark the nests. 

"Everybody's a little bit panicked," said Steve, a Jupiter area resident. "I went to bed last night feeling good. I woke up this morning seeing it hasn't turned yet, so I'm a little bit nervous."

Beginning Monday, waves are expected to reach anywhere from 6 to 8 feet with winds up to 39 mph. 

Pair that with the king tides being seen and things could look a lot different around Jupiter, despite the area not expecting a direct hit from Dorian. 

Elsewhere in Palm Beach County, retail stores that had their shelves emptied of storm supplies are getting restocked.

Local 10's Alex Finnie visited several locations, including a Home Depot and a Lowes, both in Palm Beach Gardens. 

Shoppers were out early to finalize their storm preparations, happy to see supplies in stock. 

In Delray Beach, a slow night at stores such as Publix and Walmart have given way to a busier morning. 

Overall, the theme seems to be that most people have been preparing all week and are as ready as they could be for Hurricane Dorian. 

About the Authors: