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Irma Approaching Florida – Dangerous Hurricane Projected to Have Statewide Impact

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is expected to bring at least tropical storm conditions to Tallahassee early next week.  This is our preparation guide for Betton Hills residents.

Hello Betton Hills Neighbors,

We attended an “Irma PREP” meeting last night, and would like to pass along City of Tallahassee information to help you safely prepare for Hurricane Irma, regardless of whether you remain in town or leave to stay elsewhere. This information was disseminated Wednesday, September 6, and we will continue to update it as we receive additional information.

The City of Tallahassee continues to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and coordinate with partners in community preparedness efforts. Due to the massive size and strength of Hurricane Irma, the National Weather Service anticipates Tropical Storm force winds impacting Tallahassee on Sunday afternoon, even if the eye of the storm is off the east coast of Florida. Now is the time for residents to prepare. Every household and family should have a plan and a kit with necessary supplies, from nonperishable food and medications to batteries, flashlights, lanterns, tarps, plastic bags of all sizes, and hygiene products.

Free sandbags (up to 15 per person) and sand are available at 9 locations, from 10AM-8PM. If you have a shovel, bring it. If you don’t have one, there are a few shovels at the sites, and you will need to take turns. You will need to do your own shoveling, so if that is something you cannot do physically, bring a friend or family member who is able to do that for you. TIP: Don’t fill the bags all the way full as sand is heavier than you may think! The closest sandbag location to our neighborhood is Winthrop Park. For a full listing of locations, go to

The American Red Cross will be operating our shelters, and the locations will be announced shortly. We will send that information out as soon as we receive it. Call 878-6080 for shelter information. If you want to stay in a shelter during the storm, you can use a city bus if you don’t have other transportation. Buses will run from the CK Steele bus plaza directly to the shelters until winds reach 35+ MPH, at which time the buses are not safe to operate. We will send out bus schedule information as we receive it.

While you are getting ready for the storm, go ahead a take a few minutes to check your smoke alarms/fire detectors. Sadly, even during hurricanes there are sometimes house fires. If you don’t have smoke alarms in your house, buy some now and install them. If you are unable to do that, call the Fire Department’s administrative office at 891-6600 and they will assist.

If you are a dialysis patient, the dialysis center will be closed on Monday, September 11. If you are scheduled for dialysis on that day, call immediately to reschedule your appointment.

For hurricane information on your radio, the City partners with 88.9FM (WFSU), so tune in there for their most up to date information, both during and following the storm. Double check that you have batteries for that radio! Following the storm, it could take time for officials and relief workers to reach you. As part of your preparedness efforts, create or tap into your neighborhood network. Exchange phone numbers with your neighbors. Share information, especially about who will remain in town, who has medical skills, who has chain saws and other helpful tools. Know how you can help one another. The people closest to you will be your strongest support in the direct aftermath of a storm.

The City is prepared to open comfort stations following the storm. Once power and road access have been restored, the following community centers are prepared to open as comfort stations during normal operating hours:

  • Sue McCollum Community Center at Lafayette Park, 501 Ingleside Drive
  • Lawrence-Gregory Community Center, 1115 Dade Street
  • Jack McLean Community Center, 700 Paul Russell Road
  • Jake Gaither Community Center, 801 Bragg Drive
  • Walker-Ford Community Center, 2301 Pasco Street
  • Tallahassee Senior Center, 1400 N. Monroe Street

Additionally, once power and road access have been restored, the Following the storm, the City will open the following facilities for showering:

  • Wade Wehunt Pool at Myers Park, 907 Myers Park Drive
  • Trousdell Aquatics Center, 298 Knox Road
  • Jack McLean Aquatics Center, 700 Paul Russell Road

The map on that features the current sandbag locations will be updated with these comfort stations and aquatics locations as they are opened.

After the storm, ice and water will be available at specified fire stations. They will stock fire stations in the worst hit areas first, and those will be announced when that is determined. Following that, ice and water will be provided to other fire stations.

After the storm, please do not drive around unless it is absolutely necessary as there will likely be widespread outages of electricity and many intersections without signals. If an intersection’s traffic lights are out, remember to treat it as a 4-way stop intersection.

The City is prepared to respond and encourages residents to take this time to prepare. Every family’s needs are different, so every plan will be. No one knows your situation better than you. Plan accordingly and take precautions. Stay informed about City services at:

Stay Safe, Neighbors,
Margie McInnes and Mario Taylor
Betton Hills Neighborhood Association PREP (Plan for Readiness & Emergency Preparedness) Coordinators


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