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Irma Wreaks Havoc on Hernando County, Downed Trees, Power Lines, Thousands without Power

HERNANDO – The aftermath of Hurricane Irma is widespread across Hernando County but Brooksville seems to have sustained the brunt of the storm. There are reports of massive flooding in low lying areas and hundreds of trees have blocked roadways and caused structure damage to several homes.

During a press conference moments ago, County Emergency Officials provided the latest information on conditions around the area.

School Superintendent, Dr. Lori Romano says Parrot Middle School and Wes Hernando Middle are without power, at this time. Romano also confirmed that all Hernando County Schools will be closed for the remainder of this week.

Captain J.R. Hutchinson warned motorists to stay off the roadways until tree limbs, debris, and power lines can be cleared. He also reminded travelers to always treat intersections without functioning signals as four way stops.

Hernando County Fire Chief, Scott Heckler says there was at a least one water rescue and his 14 stations are working around the clock to respond to numerous emergency calls. I asked Chief Heckler about a structure fire that destroyed a home on Bentley Ave around 9:50 p.m. last night. Heckler says his firefighters were called back to their stations to take cover around 9:30 p.m. but due to report of several disabled individuals still trapped inside the burning residence, they ignored the dangerous weather and responded to the call. Heckler says they had to cut through downed trees to reach the burning structure, and thankfully, all the residents had made it out safely without injury.

Emergency Management Director, Cecilia Petalla says they are trying to assess the damage and that power companies are already working to restore power as quickly as possible. At this time some sources estimate that upwards of 40% to 50% of Hernando County residents are without power.

Petella could not give an accurate estimate on when power will be restored to all residents around the county.

There is currently a boil water order notice in effect for all Brooksville residents and all residents east of I-75 unit further notice. UPDATE: 2:16 P.M. Weeki Wachee Woodlands

Hernando Beach

RNRF traveled the area and found most roadways cluttered with tree limbs and downed power lines. Capt. Rick Hankins provided a short video of an early morning tour of the flooded Cloverleaf Subdivision, where several mobile homes were damaged by up to two feet of water.


Estimated wind gusts reached over 85 mph according to officials as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed directly over Hernando County.

Officials tell RNRF that it is still too dangerous to tour the coastline until later this evening, after the threat of storm surge passes.

We will continue to bring more on this story as it develops.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.


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  • The big issue for East Hernando is that while we are Withlacoochee Customers, there is a large transmission line from Duke Energy that actually supplies the power that is out, so until that is fixed we will not have power. For those saying they had not seen trucks out. I was out Monday evening 9/11 and saw many WREC and tree trimming trucks out, it will take time so we just have to stay patient.

    Wednesday, 13 September 2017, 12:11 pm
  • Quit ya blood clot bitching man….

    Wednesday, 13 September 2017, 11:36 am
  • We have been without power sense Saturday at 830 pm everyone around us has power except our 2 neighbors we live by the fair grounds in brooksville

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 6:45 pm
  • Thanks for the news update Tom. We just got our power back on at noon and after reading your article I see the Brooksville area is under a boil water notice. Does this include Spring Hill? If so there are going to be a lot of sick people as we have all been drinking the water. Some type of system needs to be put in place to inform homes without power. Perhaps you can pass this on to who ever is in charge of the notice. Again thanks for the info.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 2:08 pm
  • We do not have power here as well, but I live on a main road for both Dade City and San Antonio WREC access to Brooksville, etc. There is a constant WREC truck passing by, bucket trucks, trucks, vans, cars, they are trying people. This is an emergency/disaster. They must be safe.

    Thank you WREC for all of your hard work.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 10:28 am
  • give these power company’s a break. they are putting their life in the line for us! and also about Spectrum. my husband works for then and they are not wanting them to go up onto any poles to replace aerial drops until is is deemed safe by the electric company. I’m sure going out with cable or internet is not going to kill you for a few days. now is the perfect time to be binding with your families just like we used to before we had all this new age tech. my 16 year old son is loving the family time we r spending together since we have no power either. and that’s what matters the most.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 10:25 am
    • Bla bla bla

      Wednesday, 13 September 2017, 11:33 am
      • wow.. can you be anymore rude? people are putting others first so they can help restore power to others and all u can do is leave nasty comments on mine and someone else’s comments? get a life.. nobody likes a Debbie downer like you in these type of situations. u must be very lonely…

        Wednesday, 13 September 2017, 6:47 pm
  • We live in rural Hernando county and understand being without, but after traveling around a bit yesterday afternoon and not seeing one WREC worker anywhere, I have to say we are very disappointed.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 8:40 am
    • I should add, get your website working and get off the Smarthub

      Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 8:43 am
  • what’s the status for electric, gas, road blocks in Royal Highlands?

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 8:27 am
  • Hillndale still without power. Been out since 8pm Sunday.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 8:19 am
  • We never lost power by the palace grand, Give WREC a break,we are only 1 day after the storm!! Sh#t happens, they are overwhelmed!!! This is WHY you PREPARE ahead of ttime and get supploes

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 8:03 am
  • We were told before the storm that we could be out of power for 3 to 4 weeks. I cannot believe the audacity of people that complain about being out of power within 24 hours of the storm. Take personal responsibility and prepare for the outage. This is a big task WREC and Duke are taking on. I’m sure they are trying their best. They are people too. I’m sure half of their families are sitting home without power like we are.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 7:36 am
  • We have been out since 930 Sunday lots of trees down and not one wrec truck yet

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 7:29 am
  • We are still without power, since Sun 9/10 around 9:30. We’re in Spring Hill, not in a rural area, and not flooded. But just a couple blocks down Eldridge are two separate trees on two separate lines, a block apart from each other.
    Hubby said he thought he saw one of WRECs tree trucks around 6 this morning drive by slowly, so I’m very hopeful it’s fixed today!!!

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 7:11 am
  • T
    Really having a tough time going on 3 days now without power. Surrounding neighbors never lost power. Here’s hoping 4 a hot shower soon.

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 6:44 am
  • WREC restored our services in less than 24 hours.I call that “Pretty Darn Good.”

    Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 2:32 am
  • We are trapped in Hernando NO gas NO power NO water tripped transformers in royal highlands had power at 6pm then off at 830 i was told that tjey are working 247 BUT a deputy told me not until the am.

    Clearly wrec cant fix this in a timely manner SOMEONE get the federal government involved wrec is a small operations and the customer service is 0 why not have the national guard assist in these issues this company clearly can fix the problem or wont pay the overtime to have their guys fix it.

    Monday, 11 September 2017, 11:13 pm
    • You may want to see a doctor for your anxiety. The people at WREC are working as hard as they can. I have a power line down at my house. I reported it and now I need to be patient. You will be fine. If you need emergency help call 911. Otherwise call on friends or better yet go to an open store or restaurant. You can use their bathroom to clean up, get cooled down, and get something hot to eat.

      Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 7:49 am
    • Oh my gosh . . . did we have a storm? Does a storm treat everyone equally or fairly? Give the company a break.

      Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 9:03 am
  • I live in the area of St. Francis Cabrini Church on Mariner Blvd near Elgin and we did not even have a flicker of our lights here…we had no electric issues at all…Now, for cable, TV and internet, Dullhouse, or Spectrum as they call themselves now is another story….I had no services from two in the morning until about three in the afternoon. Overall, I think our neighborhood didn’t suffer at all.

    Monday, 11 September 2017, 8:52 pm
  • My power never went out I guess it’s a were you live kind of thing.

    Monday, 11 September 2017, 8:37 pm
  • It is Monday and Slater Rd. Has been without power since 9:00pm Sunday. No lines are down just a tripped transformer…usually a 5 minute fix. But WREC says 7-10 days. I counted 12 service trucks just sitting in the yard on 50. With only 6000 customers without power WTF are they doing??? WREC said they are waiting for safe conditions…it is sunny, low temperatures, with a light breeze. They are the worst and have horrible customer relations.

    Monday, 11 September 2017, 4:36 pm
    • Michael, you are not the only one without power. You knew not having power for a few days was a possibility. Now that the storm has passed you might be able to pick up a generator from home depot, lowes, or an online listing. Talking bad about the men and women at the power companies is not going to make tour power come on any sooner.

      Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 7:56 am
  • 40 to 50% without power but yet on Withlacoochee website they say only 1600 without power…maybe emergency officials should let the electric company know

    Monday, 11 September 2017, 2:32 pm
    • And maybe you think only WREC serves Hernando, which would make your post irrelevant.

      Monday, 11 September 2017, 5:03 pm
    • Areas with wires down on the road or tangled in trees is usually where they head first. Nobody should be on the roads. We lost power at 8 last nite till 8 tonite. They worked picking up hanging wires and untangling large trees… Personally I think they did a great job!!
      Lets cut them a break for tonite!

      Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 1:33 am
      • On Mandrell Ave and Red Coach there is a huge tree with power lines tangled into the tree. Across the road one line is lying in the street. WREC has been alerted several times by residents there… yet 2 trucks rode down the street…. inched past the tree and kept driving!

        Pitch black out and if you don’t know that tree is there, you’d run snack into it!

        Power still out for those 2 blocks and power on all around them.

        So clearly wired on the ground or tangled in trees IS NOT THEIR PRIORITY.

        Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 6:43 am
      • “” Nobody should be on the roads. “”
        Depends which roads you’re on. Driving a little on 41 north last evening there’s a spot with flowing water over the road. Otherwise, my travels were relatively easy . . .

        Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 9:00 am
      • I agree Vikki-under the circumstances they are doing very well.. They have to do all of the downed power lines and poles first, then areas where there are hospitals and other services (fire departments etc) then the neighborhoods….I had a battery powered radio that I listened to 1450am all day yesterday….supposedly the cable lines are somehow connected to the electrical grids so if the electric can’t get repaired Spectrum can’t get in to fix the cable. We also have to take into consideration the safety of all the men and women who are working out in those hazardous conditions trying to restore our services. God bless them all!! My power, cable and phone was out 20 hours but the radio really helped pass the time.

        Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 9:17 am

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