Emergency officials on the Treasure Coast took a low-key approach to preparation for Hurricane Isaias, with just one county opening shelters but not ordering an evacuation.
Indian River County set up three schools as shelters Saturday afternoon. Emergency management issued a voluntary evacuation option for mobile and manufactured home residents, low lying areas and the barrier island.
More: Surfers take advantage of waves blown in by oncoming storm
“The strongest winds will be on the barrier islands, but damaging winds are also expected over the mainland portion of coastal counties, too,” Indian River officials said about the Category 1 storm. “Any small deviations from the track will result in very large differences in impacts and duration of weather.”
As of 1 p.m. Saturday, neither Martin nor St. Lucie County had ordered evacuations nor opened shelters open.
The shelters open in Indian River are:
- Treasure Coast Elementary, 8955 85th Street, Sebastian, for special needs,
- Liberty Magnet Schooll, 6580 81st Street, Vero Beach, which is pet-friendly, and
- Freshman Learning Center, 1507 19th Street, Vero Beach.
Indian River has 15 shelter locations overall it could use during a storm. For Hurricane Dorian, nearly a year ago, it opened five shelters to house nearly 700 evacuees.
The difference this year is the shelters have been adjusted to follow recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Masks will be required in the facilities, temperatures will be checked for evacuees and social distancing will be in effect, officials said. Isolation rooms have been set up at the shelters for anyone with a fever.
Lamaur Stancil is the Treasure Coast regional economy reporter covering business and industries, including retail, tourism and hospitality. Contact him at 321-987-7179 or [email protected] and follow him at Lamaur Stancil on Facebook and @TCPalmLStancil on Twitter.
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More of our coverage: Latest news from Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River in Florida