Pinellas County officials have announced a mandatory evacuation of everyone living in low-lying areas.
Evacuation zone "A'' cover the county's Gulf Coast and the people living along the bayside as well. It also includes people living in mobile homes, regardless of the location.
The mandatory evacuations go into effect as of 6 a.m. Friday.
Close to 1 million people live in Pinellas County, many along the waterfront if the peninsula surrounded by water on three sides that's about 250 miles northwest of Miami.
Commissioners are still considering evacuations of zones B and C for Saturday.
Also, in neighboring Pasco County, officials announced Thursday that five shelters are opening.