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Hurricane Irma - Columbia County: Storm Impact Predictions and Shelter Updates

(Columbia County, FL) Hurricane Irma’s predicted path shifted west Thursday evening. Irma is expected to be a Category 1 or less hurricane once it arrives in North Florida. Currently the eye of the storm is projected to pass over Columbia County Monday. Tropical Storm winds are anticipated to arrive in Columbia County area Sunday Evening between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Maximum forecasted sustained winds of 75 mph with gusts 20 to 30 mph higher are expected at the peak of the storm.   

Rain fall in Columbia County is estimated to be between 6-10 inches during the storm.  We strongly urge Columbia County residents to stay posted for updates and ensure you are prepared. Important topic updates listed below.


Interstate I-75: The southbound lane of I-75 has NOT transitioned to northbound lanes.  All lanes remain in normal operating directions.

Waste Pick-up: The Columbia County Landfill will be closed Monday, September 11, and per Waste Pro there will be no garbage collection on Monday.  Waste collection will be completed one day behind normal schedule. The landfill will be open the following Saturday, September 16.

Florida Gateway College: Governor Rick Scott has directed that all colleges be closed on Friday September 8th and Monday September 11th due to the circumstances surrounding Hurricane Irma. Florida Gateway College expects to be open on Tuesday, September 12th.

Shelters – Three hurricane shelters will open at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 9. Shelter locations are as follows:

*SPECIAL NEEDS ONLY SHELTER* Westside Elementary School, 1956 Co Rd 252B, Lake City, FL 32024

Ft. White High School, 17828 FL-47, Fort White, FL 32038

Winfield Community Center, 1324 N W Winfield St, Lake City, FL 32055

Richardson Sixth Grade Academy, 646 SE Pennsylvania St, Lake City, FL 32025

Pinemount Elementary School, 324 S W Gabriel Pl, Lake City, FL 32024

Citizen Information Center (CIC) – The Columbia County Citizen Information Center (CIC) opened at 8:00 a.m. Friday, September 8, and remain open 24/7 throughout the weekend. The hotline number is 386-719-7530.

Sandbags – Columbia County will distribute sandbags Friday, September 8 – Sunday, September 10, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day at three locations. Up to 15 bags per vehicle will be provided, however, citizens will be responsible for filling the bags with sand. Sand and shovels will be provided on site as well.

Columbia County Public Works, 607 NW Quinten St, Lake City, FL 32055 (Elderly Assistance at this location only)

Columbia County Fairgrounds, 438 FL-247, Lake City, FL 32055

Ft. White Community Center, 17579 FL-47, Fort White, FL 32038

Local Government Agencies - Columbia County Board of County

Commission Offices will be open Friday, September 8, but all non-essential offices will be closed Monday, September 11.

Schools – Columbia County Schools will be closed Friday, September 8, and Monday September 11.

ACT Testing – ACT Testing scheduled for Saturday morning has been cancelled.

Evacuees – Please be cognizant of evacuees from other parts of Florida.  Traffic in Columbia County on interstates, state roads, and local roads has increased substantially.  Please use caution and allow plenty of time to travel to your desired location.
Columbia County will provide an update as additional information becomes available.