Emergency officials are urging Gulf Coast residents to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Hermine.
Portions of Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, Dixie and Levy counties are under mandatory evacuation notice. Voluntary evacuation is also underway in Walton, Jefferson and Gulf counties. Emergency officials are urging residents of coastal communities to head inland. Dustin Hinkel is the Taylor County Administrator.
“We do encourage people that are having to evacuate that they go and stay with friends and family because that’s a more comfortable environment and atmosphere for them. But we certainly have the facilities available for them if they need a place to go,” Hinkel said.
Forecasters are predicting potentially life-threatening storm surge and heavy rains, making coastal residents especially vulnerable. Mandy Lemmermen is with the Dixie County Emergency Management.
“Think of your safety and try to get to a shelter or to a safe location with other family members that live in different places through the state or even out of state,” Lemmermen said.
Hurricane Hermine is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Emergency officials are preparing for strong winds, heavy rains, flash floods, storm surge and isolated tornadoes.