TAVARES — As Hurricane Ian nears, Lake County residents were urged to seek shelter by 2 p.m. on Wednesday. From 2 to 4 p.m., the county is anticipated to see winds equivalent to a tropical cyclone, County Commission Chairman Sean Parks stated at a morning press conference.
Thursday could bring up to a foot of rain, wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph, and the possibility of a few isolated tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. The most recent information as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida in real-time.
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Sandbags and shelters in Lake County: Hurricane Ian updates. Prepare for Hurricane Ian with “Water, Chef Boyardee, and doughnuts,” say residents of Lake County. Keep clear of windows. Megan Milanese, director of emergency management, advised drivers to stay off the roads.
According to Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, flooding will be a problem, particularly in the town of Astor on the banks of the St. Johns River. His office will be quite present there. Other places, notably Clermont’s Emerald Lakes, which has mobile homes, also frequently flood after severe storms.
However, there are no required evacuations. People have received warnings about the dangers from police and sheriff’s deputies. 400,000 people now live in the quickly expanding county, according to Parks, many of whom have never seen a hurricane.
On Wednesday, residents of Lake County braved the rain as they finished making preparations for Hurricane Ian. Jim Dickerson, the chief of Lake Fire-Rescue, sent an impassioned message that read, “We sincerely want everyone to be safe,” as quoted by Grinnell.
His advice included:
- When a traffic light loses power, treat it as a four-way stop.
- Keep a generator at least 20 feet away from a residence and keep it out of enclosed spaces like garages or even screened-in porches.
- If you have a generator, only connect it to the refrigerator and other really necessary devices.
- Overuse might cause power companies to take longer to restore electricity.
- Please refrain from using candles, he said. He remembered a tragic candle-related house fire.
- Avoid attempting any tasks at night. A tree that has fallen may become caught in electrical cables.
- Alligators and snakes will suddenly appear in unexpected locations.
- And if you are not familiar with a chainsaw, let an expert individual do the work, advises another recommendation that makes one tremble at the possibility of gore.
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15 schools, according to school superintendent Diane Kornegay, have been turned into shelters. She gave recognition to everyone working in the shelters, especially the food service staff who were feeding the residents.
The Department of Health’s head, Aaron Kissler, advised individuals to bring some of their own bedding, pillows, and entertainment. 20 square feet are provided to each person. The press conference was held at the Emergency Operations Center at 9:30 a.m. when Hurricane Ian had not yet touched down in southwest Florida.
The county housed 300 individuals and supplied 3,500 sandbags. “We are aware of people’s anxiety and fear. According to commission Chairman Parks, it may be highly stressful. We anticipate significant harm and adverse effects on people’s lives. The best crew is here with us. We have folks who are fervently committed to helping others, the man remarked.
A phone number for citizens’ information is 352-253-9999. Information will also be posted by Lake County on Facebook and other social media platforms. Many county services have been suspended, including garbage collection, which is anticipated to start again on Monday. A junk hauler has been hired by the county.
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