The Jackson County Commissioners called a special meeting Monday at 11:30 to discuss the county’s position on preparations for Hurricane Michael.
Emergency Management Director Rodney Andreasen addressed the board saying emphatically, “To be honest with you, this is one that Jackson County has never experienced before and this is going to be bad. What we are looking at now is this morning we were looking at a category one and as of one hour ago, we are looking at a category 3 coming into Panama City at 120 mile-an-hour wind and exiting the county at as a category 2. The eye is selected to go over between Grand Ridge and Sneads and go up through eastern part of the community. They say it could reach category 4 level so what we are doing at this time, we had all the department heads and several cities in attendance and to make it the safest we can, we are expecting tropical force winds into the county at around 7 p.m. so we are looking at around 39 miles per hour into the night. In talking with the school board, we are going to open the shelter at 7 a.m. tomorrow. We are going to open as soon as the schools close at 3 p.m. today, we are going to get the PSN people in there to start setting up and the animal control people as well in case we need a pet friendly shelter. Tomorrow morning, we will start moving the PSNs at 7 a.m.”
Andreasen said they will be coordinating that with Calhoun and St. Joe because they do house their special needs people. We will get them moved in first. He said general shelters will open at 10 a.m. and after tropical force winds reach 39 miles per hour they will not move any ambulances, anything because it is simply too dangerous. They will activate to level one at that time Tuesday morning on a skeleton crew because Andreasen says it will be a great strain on folks that he has working in there. At 1 p.m. they will take their whole crew and everybody will be on staff for 24 hours.
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