Nassau County orders evacuations for Fernandina Beach, opens shelters
Image via Wes Wolfe.

'Nassau County is unable to tell residents when they will be able to return.'

When it comes to storm surge, few places in Nassau County are as susceptible as Fernandina Beach along the Amelia River, and those mainland areas on the west side of the Amelia. With 3 to 5 feet of storm surge predicted for Northeast Florida with Hurricane Ian, Nassau County officials are going with an abundance of caution and ordering the evacuation of those areas.

Nassau County Emergency Management Director Tim Cooper met with County Manager Taco Pope “and provided a verbal justification and request to issue an evacuation order,” leading Pope to do exactly that.

“Evacuation of the citizens in (Evacuation Zones A and D) will go into effect at 0800 on September 28th, 2022 and evacuation shall be completed on or before 0800 on September 29th, 2022,” according to the order.

Wednesday’s order is to remain in effect until repealed by Pope or the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners.

“Nassau County is unable to tell residents when they will be able to return as that will depend on (damage) from the storm and associated assessments deeming it’s safe to return,” the county government said in a statement issued with the evacuation order.

“Upon returning to Nassau County, please have identification available. This will ensure that you don’t have any issues returning to your home. If your identification card does not include your home address, please ensure you have some sort of documentation so they can confirm your address deed, utility bill, property tax bill, etc.” 

The county worked with the Nassau County School District to get schools ready for people who need shelter from the storm, and opened two shelters, both on the west side of the county.

A special needs shelter is set up at Hilliard Middle-Senior High School, 1 Flashes Drive in Hilliard. The general population and pet-friendly shelter is at Callahan Middle School, 450121 Old Dixie Highway in Callahan.

“If you are planning to go to the special needs shelter, please ensure that you have completed the special needs registration through the (Florida) Department of Health,” Nassau County officials said in a statement. “They can be reached at 888-353-8387. You can also register online at If you have already registered, you will be contacted by the Department of Health.”

People going to one of the shelters should bring everything they need with them.

The school district earlier canceled classes and after-school activities for Wednesday through Friday.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


  • Tom

    September 28, 2022 at 11:47 am

    It’s safer to be out at sea on a yacht or fishing boat. That way there is no debris and power outage is not a problem. Also no flooding. To top it off, some of the best fishing you’ve ever seen can be done in these conditions. World record breaking fish.

  • Dana Duggins

    September 28, 2022 at 3:08 pm, Know your zone identifies the entire city of Fernandina Beach in Zone A.

    This causes confusion and unnecessary fear for out of state family members and friends who are watching the situation out of concern for their loved one’s safety.

    This should be corrected

  • Ron Noble

    September 28, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Tampa Bay is a body of water – not a city.

  • TA White

    September 28, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    How do I find which address falls into which zone? Is there a link.

Comments are closed.


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