Irma May Be Taking Turn for the Worse, Shelters Set to Begin Opening
REGIONAL – Unfortunately, the news may not be good for Florida residents after weather officials released the latest update on Hurricane Irma. Earlier models indicated that Irma may shift more the east and stay just off the coast of Florida as it track northward. Now it appears that Irma may make landfall further west and track directly up the northeast side of the state. This scenario would cause devastating damage along the entire east coast of Florida and create a higher probability of tropical storm and hurricane storm force winds on the western part of the state, including our viewing area.
I-75 just north of Cortez Blvd is at a near standstill, according to witnesses, and travelers are still finding it difficult to find gasoline and essential supplies, like water and non-perishable foods.
Hernando County Officials are trying to keep up with sandbag supplies and have already depleted over 80,000 bags since Wednesday. Distribution is scheduled to resume at previously listed locations by Friday afternoon.
Hernando County has yet to open emergency shelters but officials are urging citizens who live in zones A, B, or C to leave the area. Alert Hernando and Code Red services will be utilized to notify residents of public safety bulletins. Please go to www.AlertHernando.org to register for public safety bulletins.
Pasco County Officials have announced voluntary evacuations for all residents living west of US-19, especially citizens with special needs or living in mobile homes.
The evacuation map for those residents vulnerable to storm surge can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2gNZTd1
Evacuees should first consider riding out the storm with family or friends. If that is not an option, citizens can evacuate directly to a Pasco County Hurricane Shelter. For a full list of available shelters, click here: http://bit.ly/2wcQg9N
The shelters will open tomorrow, Friday, September 8, at 11:00 a.m. If you decide to stay in the shelter, please bring your ID, money, and any medicine.
To see the full evacuation order, click here: http://bit.ly/2xSp7ea
Visit www.pascocountyfl.net for updates on Hurricane Irma and for the latest actions Pasco County is taking. Citizens are also encouraged to visit the Pasco County Emergency Management website for more information about preparing for hurricanes and other disasters.
Citrus County Officials will open shelters tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning at the following locations: General population can go to Lecanto Middle School, located at 3800 West Educational Path, Lecanto. For the pet friendly shelter, go to the Lecanto Primary School located at 3790 West Educational Path, Lecanto. For those persons registered as Special Needs in accordance with the State of Florida, go to the Renaissance School located at 3630 West Educational Path, Lecanto. West Educational Path is approximately 2.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 44 and Hwy 491.
Officials recommend bringing a small bag with clothing, toiletries, medicine, pillow and blanket or sleeping bag. There is only approx. 20 square feet per person. For more information on what to bring to the pet friendly shelter, visit www.sheriffcitrus.org and click on the emergency management tab and then pets.
RNRF will continue to monitor the situation as Hurricane Irma tracks closer to the north-central part of the state.
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