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Eta headed toward Alachua County

Press releases from Alachua County and City of Gainesville

This article will be updated as new information comes out

Gainesville

The storm continues moving north, but the eye of Tropical Storm Eta continues to erode (good news!). The storm is moving faster than expected, and is now estimated to make landfall around 2 a.m. Thursday as a weakened tropical storm. Gainesville and Alachua County are currently under a tropical storm warning with the potential for tropical storm-force winds in our area. Once over land, the storm should degrade even faster with maximum winds of about 40 mph by the time it exits Florida on the east coast. With the increased speed of the storm, rain forecasts have decreased slightly. Please be reminded that this is a large storm with isolated thunderstorms within the bands, and we could still have strong wind gusts and rainfalls that could still overload the stormwater system. Please do not walk or drive through standing water. We remind our neighbors to continue to be vigilant in preparation and planning, as storms can change quickly. 

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Things to Note:

  • Public schools, UF and Santa Fe College are closed tomorrow.
  • There are no emergency shelter openings are planned at this time. 
  • The city has activated its Severe/Cold Night Weather shelter program for neighbors experiencing homelessness.
  •  The 311 rumor control phone number is active. Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Tropical Storm Eta. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. For emergencies that are not life-threatening, call 352-955-1818. 
  • Tomorrow’s trash collection, yard clippings, and recycling have been delayed, and will resume Friday. Collection Centers, the Household Hazardous Waste Center and the Transfer Station are also closed tomorrow.
  • If you live in a manufactured home or low-lying area, please make sure you have a contingency plan.

Local Impacts:

  • Gainesville has an 80% chance of seeing gusting tropical-storm force winds (>37 mph) starting about 2 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 12 through the morning and early afternoon.
  • The chances of seeing strong tropical storm-force winds has dropped, and sustained winds are not expected. Gusting is still possible.
  • Rainfall is predicted to be 1-2 inches across the area, with up to 3 inches in localized areas over less than a 24-hour period
  • Some standing water or ponding is possible

Utility Issues

  • Please call GRU at 352-334-2871 to report power outages and 352-334-2550 for natural gas emergencies. 

RTS Bus Routes and Operations

  • RTS bus service will be suspended when/if winds reach a constant 35 mph. Please visit www.go-rts.com for more information.  

Sandbags and Flooding

  • The National Weather Service has issued tropical storm warnings and watches throughout north central Florida. It is expected to primarily be a wind event with sustained wind of 35 mph, and 2-4” of rain. Sustained rainfall and regional flooding is not expected at this time.

On social media, follow these local resources for storm information:
 
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Alachua County

The storm is now adjacent to Sarasota. It is expected to make landfall south of Cedar Key. We now expect Tropical Storm (TS) force winds beginning at 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday morning. TS force winds expected to dissipate at 10 a.m. We expect sustained winds of 30 to 35 mph. with gusts of 40 to 45 mph. Expect 1 to 2 inches of rain with isolated pockets of up to 3 inches. Please understand that this is a rapidly changing storm and all of these estimates are subject to change with very short notice.

Power Failure Numbers:
Gainesville Regional Utilities – 352-334-2871
Clay Electric – 1-888-434-9844
Duke Power – 1-800-769-3766
City of Newberry – 352-472-2161
FPL Power – 1-800-468-8243
City of Alachua – 386-418-6185

Except for essential public safety services, all County offices will be closed tomorrow.  

Important information: 

  • Public Schools, UF, and Santa Fe College are closed tomorrow.
  • There are no shelter openings planned at this time.
  • The 311 Rumor Control phone number is now active. Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Hurricane Eta. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. For emergencies that are not life-threatening, call 352-955-1818.
  • Tomorrow’s trash collection, yard clippings, and recycling have been postponed and will resume on Friday. Collection Centers, the Household Hazardous Waste Center, and the Transfer Station are also closed tomorrow.
  • All County parks and conservation lands are closed tomorrow.
  • Public safety vehicles and responders will stay out unless wind speeds make responding too dangerous. The service will resume as soon as it is safe.
  • If you live in a manufactured home or low-lying area, please make sure you have a contingency plan to stay with someone or in a hotel.

Click for preparedness and hurricane kit information.

View the latest information from the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.