15 local schools to open as shelters

Palm Beach County emergency officials will meet Wednesday to consider evacuation plans. (WPEC)

Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick says 15 local schools will open Friday to serve as shelters during Hurricane Irma. She says that all together, the schools can provide shelter for about 50,000 residents.

County emergency officials will have a briefing with the National Hurricane Center at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday to consider evacuation plans ahead of Hurricane Irma.

The county declared a State of Emergency effective as of midnight, Sept. 6.

County Administrator Verdenia Baker says the next several hours are crucial in their decision making process.

Baker says by Thursday morning, she expects the county’s Emergency Operations Center to be raised to a Level 2 – Partial Activation.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee County schools will be closed Thursday and Friday as some of those schools will likely be used as shelters.

Local law enforcement and fire rescue departments will provide service to the shelters.

Mayor Burdick says at this time, there is not a mandatory evacuation order. The county is working closely with emergency officials and other city leaders to monitor Irma's track and determine future emergency plans.

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