Central Florida hurricane shelters start to close

Where to go in Brevard, Orange, Volusia, Lake, Flagler, Osceola, Marion

Central Florida shelters have opened as Hurricane Matthew lashes the east coast of Florida.

More shelter announcements will be made available here as they are released. Check back for a full list of shelters for evacuees needing a place to stay.

All but one of the Brevard county storm shelters established for those who sought safe haven from Hurricane Matthew have now been closed.

Residents can check FloridaEvacuates.com and enter their ZIP code to find a nearby shelter. Residents should find their evacuation zones and routes on the Florida Division of Emergency Management site.


County officials announced the following shelters will be open:

General population shelters: 

Residents with special needs should contact Brevard County Emergency Management at 321-637-6670, and select option two for assistance evacuating.

Brevard County Emergency Management announced the closure of all but one shelter Saturday afternoon.

Viera Regional Community Center, which was opened as a pet-friendly shelter but is now a co-located shelter. It will remain open through Sunday.

The County established 8 general population shelters, three pet-friendly shelters and special needs shelters that were opened at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

For a map of Brevard County shelters and evacuation routes visit www.brevardcounty.us.

Pet-friendly shelters:

  • Port St. John Community Center, at 6650 Corto Road  
  • Viera Regional Park, at 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
  • Ted Whitlock Community Center, at Palm Bay Regional Park, 1951 Malabar Road NW, Palm Bay

Full coverage from Brevard County.

[TRAFFIC: Track live conditions | Plan your evacuation route | Brevard routes | Storm updates ]


Flagler County residents in zones A and B are under voluntary evacuation.

According to the Flagler EOC: Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for four Evacuation Zones in Flagler County as Hurricane Matthew nears the county. The mandatory evacuation of Zones A, B and C began at 6 a.m. Thursday. At 11 a.m Thursday, a mandatory evacuation order was given for Zone F, which is in the western side of Flagler County, including the St. Johns Park area.

Evacuation Zone A includes everything east of the Intracoastal including Marineland, Hammock, Flagler Beach along A1A.

Evacuation Zone B includes the neighborhoods along Colbert Lane to the south, all of the C section and the F section east of Florida Park Drive and the F section east of Palm Harbor Parkway. This zone also includes the area east of Old Kings Road, south of State Road 100 including Bulow and its adjacent neighborhood, Grand Haven and western Flagler Beach.

Zone C includes The Woodlands neighborhood off Old Kings Road.

The Flagler County Emergency Services announced the following shelters will open at 6 a.m. on Thursday:

  • Rymfire Elementary School (Special Needs Shelter) 1425 Rymfire Dr, Palm Coast. In Palm Coast, just north of Royal Palms Pkwy.
  • Bunnell Elementary School (Pet Friendly), 305 N Palmetto St., Bunnell. In Bunnell, 2 blocks north of SR 100, via Orange Street

On Flagler County officials announced the closure of two shelters.The Bunnell Elementaru School is still open for residents.

“People started leaving the shelter upon hearing they could return home,” Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey said. “It just made sense to condense everything to one building.”

Bunnell Elementary will accommodate residents with specials need, who have pets – dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents and turtles – as well as the general population. The four-pet maximum still applies and pet owners should bring current vaccination records and supplies, including crates and medications.

 “The shelter will remain open as long as necessary,” Flagler School Superintendent Jacob Oliva said. “We don’t want people to worry about where they will go.”

For more information, visit www.FlaglerEmergency.com or call 386-586-5111.


The following Lake County shelters will open Thursday at 7 a.m.

  • Astatula Elementary, 13925 Florida Ave., Astatula
  • Leesburg Elementary, 2229 South St., Leesburg - special-needs
  • Lost Lake Elementary, 1901 Johns Lake Road, Clermont - special-needs
  • Mascotte Elementary, 460 Midway Ave., Mascotte
  • Round Lake Elementary, 31333 Round Lake Road, Mount Dora
  • Spring Creek Elementary, 44440 Spring Creek Road, Paisley
  • Treadway Elementary, 10619 Treadway School Road, Leesburg
  • Umatilla Elementary, 401 Lake St., Umatilla - special-needs
  • Villages Elementary, 695 Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake - special-needs 


The Marion County Sheriff's Office multipurpose room located at 692 NW 30th Avenue in Ocala will be open to residents as a hurricane shelter starting Thursday at noon and will be open until the storm is over, according to Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Individuals with special needs should register to receive assistance here.

A shelter for livestock is also available for $10 a day at the Southeastern Livestock Pavillion at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road in Ocala. All livestock will be accepted during 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Owners will need to provide food, water buckets and care for their animals. There are 188 stalls available. For more information call 352-671-8600.

  • Belleview Middle School, 10500 SE 36th Avenue Belleview, Florida 34420. Opens at 6 p.m. Thursday. This will be a Special Needs and General Population Shelter. MCSO Emergency Management will be providing transportation for any special needs individuals. Please call the Citizen Information Line at 352-369-7500 to arrange this transportation. For special needs individuals, please bring any special needs supplies, equipment, medications or food that you need. No pets will be accepted at this shelter. If you are a special needs individual with a pet, Marion County Code Enforcement will provide transportation for your pet to Marion County Animal Services to shelter them during the storm.
  • Vanguard High School, 7 NW 28th Street, Ocala, Florida 34475. This shelter is for the General Population and Pet Friendly.


The following general population shelters in Orange County opened at 1 p.m. on Thursday:

Apopka High at 555 Martin St, Apopka, FL 32712

Corner Lake Middle at 1700 Chuluota Rd, Orlando, FL 32820

Timber Creek High School at 1001 Avalon Park S Blvd, Orlando, FL 32828

Odyssey Middle School at 9290 Lee Vista Blvd, Orlando, FL 32829

Two pet-friendly shelters are open as well:

Bithlo Community Park at 18501 Washington Ave, Orlando, FL 32820


Barnett Park at 4801 W Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32808

Orlando Union Rescue Mission is opening its doors to families and individuals who need shelter from Hurricane Matthew.

Doors will opened on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Mission's Family Home located at 1525 W. Washington Street for families and single women.

The Mission's Men's Home, at 410 W. Central Boulevard will open at 2 p.m. Thursday to accommodate single men.

Guests will be provided with floor space, meals and water, according to the Mission's press release.


Four shelters will open in Osceola County Thursday at 7 a.m., according to county officials. No evacuations are in effect for Osceola, but residents "who live in low-lying or flood-prone areas or in homes with potential structural issues should have evacuation plan ready," according to the news release.

A general population shelter is located at 2700 N Narcoossee Road in St. Cloud.

Three pet-friendly shelters will open at 7 a.m. on Thursday:

  • Kissimmee Middle at 2410 Dyer Blvd in Kissimmee. (Almost at capacity as of 5:20 p.m. Thursday)
  • Harmony High at 3601 Arthur J Gallagher Blvd in St. Cloud.
  • Liberty High at 4250 Pleasant Hill Rd. in Kissimmee.

A special needs shelter will also be available at the Barney E. Veal Center in Kissimmee at 700 Generation Point.


Polk County will open the following shelters on Thursday at 1 p.m.

  • Ridge Community High School, 500 W. Orchid Dr. in Davenport

  • Tenoroc High School, 4905 Saddle Creek Rd. in Lakeland

  • Spook Hill Elementary, 321 Dr. J.A. Wiltshire Ave., E. Lake Wales

  • Chain of Lakes Elementary, 7001 CR 653 in Winter Haven

  • PET FRIENDLY Alta Vista Elementary*801 S. Scenic Highway in Haines City

A special needs shelter opened at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Polk County Health Department located at 1255 Brice Blvd. in Bartow.


  • Bentley Elementary  2190 South Oregon Avenue, Sanford, Florida Special Needs and Caregivers Only, Pet Friendly
  • Highlands Elementary 1600 Shepard Road, Winter Springs, Florida Special Needs and Caregivers Only, No Pets
  • Lake Mary High School 655 Longwood-Lake Mary Road   Lake Mary, Florida  General Population, No Pets
  • Lawton Chiles Middle School 1240 Sanctuary Drive, Oviedo Florida General Population, No Pets
  • Lyman High School 865 Ronald Reagan Blvd, Longwood, FL General Population, Pet Friendly
  • Midway Elementary  2368 Brisson Avenue, Sanford, FL General Population, No Pets


Volusia County has been relocating people who had sought shelter to only two shelters:

  • First United Methodist Church, 115 E. Howry Ave., DeLand
  • Southeast Volusia YMCA, 148 W. Turgot Ave., Edgewater

Volusia officials urgently advised residents to evacuate the beach areas, north and south of Ponce Inlet and any mobile home east of I-95. At 6 p.m. Thursday bridges will be closed and access to and from the beaches will be impossible, according to a news release.

Full coverage from Volusia County.

"Based on the latest storm track, the evacuation order is mandatory for the beachside, low-lying areas, and RV and mobile home parks," according to the emergency evacuation advisory sent out Wednesday evening.

Residents are advised that emergency crews cannot respond once sustained tropical force winds are in Volusia County.

The following shelters will open Thursday in Volusia County:

All Port Orange shelters are at capacity as of 5:45 p.m. Thursday. Volusia County schools tweeted all east side shelters are full except for Palm Terrace. Residents should continue heading west.

  • DeLand High School, 800 N. Hill Ave., DeLand
  • Sweetwater Elementary School, 5800 Victoria Gardens Blvd., Port Orange (Closed)
  • New Smyrna Beach High School, 1015 10th St., New Smyrna Beach
  • (PF) Volusia County Fairgrounds, 3150 E. State Road 44, DeLand
  • (SpNS /PF) Atlantic High School, 1250 Reed Canal Road, Port Orange (Closed)
  • (SpNS /PF) Creekside Middle School, 6801 Airport Road, Port Orange (Closed)
  • (SpNS/PF) Heritage Middle School, 1001 Parnell Court, Deltona
  • Pine Ridge High School, 925 Howland Blvd., Deltona
  • (PF) Hinson Middle School, 1860 N. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach
  • (SpNS /PF) Galaxy Middle School, 2400 Eustace Ave., Deltona
  • T.D. Taylor Middle/High School, 100 E. Washington Ave., Pierson
  • Pathways Elementary School, 2100 Airport Road, Ormond Beach
  • University High School, 1000. W. Rhode Island Ave., Orange City
  • River Springs Middle School, 900 West Ohio Ave., Orange City

Special Needs Shelters for persons with special needs only (not general public)

  • Galaxy Middle School, 2400 Eustace Ave., Deltona
  • Heritage Middle School, 1001 Parnell Court, Deltona (no outlets for oxygen)

SpNS Shelters (Special Needs Shelters)

For elderly, physically, mentally or sensory disabled, visually or hearing impaired residents or those who need supplemental oxygen. Evacuees should be accompanied by a caregiver if this type of assistance normally is needed. SpNS are not for people who need 24-hour dedicated care, a hospital bed, ventilator, other complex care or isolation patients. These individuals should discuss other shelter arrangements with their physician or home health service provider or caregiver.

PF Shelters (Pet Friendly)

Small animals only, must be crated and cared for by owners (leash, food, water must be brought and will not be provided); will be housed in a separate location at shelter. Only the fairgrounds houses people and pets in the same location.

Volusia County evacuation zones and routes are pictured below. Click here to enlarge the map.



About the Authors:

Emmy-nominated journalist Kristin Cason joined the News 6 team in June 2016.