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Madison County prepares for Hurricane Michael: schools close; shelter opens

John Willoughby Greene Publishing, Inc.

Ahead of Hurricane Michael, currently a Category 1 storm developing near the Yucatan Peninsula and strengthening as it travels in a northeasterly direction toward the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, Madison County is among many other counties preparing for the possible impact.

On Sunday, Oct. 7, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Madison County, as well as Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus counties.

According to the District School Board of Madison County, all Madison County schools will be closed, due to Hurricane Michael. Schools closed at their normal time on Monday, Oct. 8, in preparation to open the Madison County Central School as a Risk Shelter.

The Risk Shelter will open on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 2 p.m. If you need to seek shelter in the Risk Shelter during the storm, you are asked to bring all essential items to the Madison County Central School, located at 2093 West US Hwy. 90, in Madison. Plan to stay in the shelter through Thursday, Oct. 11, when the shelter is expected to close. The Madison County Emergency Management Director will determine when the shelter will officially close.

The Madison County Board of County Commissioners will be holding a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 8, at 5:30 p.m. According to the board, the purpose of the special meeting is to declare a local state of emergency and discuss moving the regularly scheduled meeting for Wednesday, Oct. 10, to a different date and time. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the boardroom at the Courthouse Annex, located at 229 E. Pinckney St., in Madison.

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