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Shelters open as Hurricane Michael barrels toward Gulf Coast

Last Updated Oct 10, 2018 3:18 PM EDT

Shelters opened across several states as Hurricane Michael -- a "potentially catastrophic" Category 4 storm -- closed in on the Florida Panhandle.

The hurricane's leading edge began lashing the white-sand shoreline with tropical storm-force winds, rain and rising seas before daybreak Wednesday. In the afternoon, it made landfall. 

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were warned to clear out.   

"The time to evacuate has come and gone ... SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted Wednesday morning, while the sheriff in Panama City's Bay County issued a shelter-in-place order before dawn. 

Michael is so powerful that it is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over central Georgia early Thursday.

Here is a list of some of the shelters that have opened in Florida, Georgia and Alabama as Michael bears down on the Southeast U.S., according to CBS affiliate WCTV and other CBS-affiliated stations: 

Shelters in Florida

Gadsden County

Gadsden County High School
Open at noon Tuesday
General Population and Special Needs
27001 Blue Star Highway
Havana, FL 32333

West Gadsden Middle School
Open at noon Tuesday
200 Providence Road
Greensboro, FL 32351

Havana Magnet School
Open at noon Tuesday
1210 Kemp Road
Havana, FL 32333

Leon County

Chiles High School
Open at noon Tuesday
7200 Lawton Chiles Lane
Tallahassee, FL 32312
Pet-friendly shelter

Godby High School
Open at noon Tuesday
1717 W Tharpe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32304

Lincoln High School
Open at noon Tuesday
3838 Trojan Trail
Tallahassee, FL 32311

Sail High School
Open at noon Tuesday
2006 Jackson Bluff Road
Tallahassee, FL 32304

Fort Braden Elementary School
Open at noon Tuesday
15100 Blountstown Highway
Tallahassee, FL 32310

Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church
2015 Lake Bradford Road
Tallahassee, FL 32310

Leon High School
Open at 6 p.m. Tuesday
550 E Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32310

Florida State University School
Open at 12 p.m. Tuesday
3000 School House Road
Tallahassee, FL 32311
Special needs shelter

Wakulla County


No shelters open

Taylor County

Taylor County Elementary
Open at 2 p.m. Tuesday
1600 E Green Street
Perry, FL 32347

Jefferson County

Jefferson Somerset School
Open at 12 p.m. Tuesday
50 David Road
Monticello, FL 32344

Okaloosa County


Davidson Middle School is closed to general population evacuees, CBS affiliate WKRG reports. All general evacuees are asked to seek shelter at Raider Arena on Northwest Florida State College's campus. 

Special Needs Evacuees are asked to go to Davidson Middle School. 

Escambia County

  • Molino Elementary School is open and is a pet-friendly shelter
  • Pensacola Bay Center is open for the general population and those with special needs

Shelters in Georgia

Lowndes County

Park Avenue United Methodist Church
Open at 7 p.m. Tuesday
100 E Park Avenue
Valdosta, GA 31602

Thomas County

First Baptist Church Thomasville
Check-in from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday
210 N Broad Street
Thomasville, GA 31792

Effingham County

CBS affiliate WTOC reports that four shelters will open in Effingham County at 6 p.m. Wednesday night. People are asked to bring their own bedding, toiletries, food and water.

  • Sandhill Baptist Church: 1936 Sand Hill Rd, Guyton, GA 31312 
  • Springfield United Methodist Church: 210 Cleveland St, Springfield, GA 31329 
  • Elam Egypt Baptist Church: 184 5th St S, Guyton, GA 31312 
  • Liberty Christian Fellowship: 302 Church St, Guyton, GA 31312

Macon-Bibb County 

South Bibb Recreation Center, 7035 Houston Rd., Macon, GA 31216

The shelter opened Tuesday around 6 p.m., CBS affiliate WMAZ reports. It cannot take animals. Pets can be housed at Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare on Fulton Mill Road.

Shelters in Alabama

Baldwin County

Baldwin County Coliseum, 19477 Fairground Rd, Robertsdale, AL 36567

The American Red Cross will operate the shelter.