The Latest on Power Outages, Water Boil Advisory, and Storm Damage – The Recovery Begins
HERNANDO – Now that Irma is miles away from our area and blue skies have replaced the rain and wind, Emergency Management officials are able to provide a preliminary assessment of damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure around Hernando County.
The good news is that a massive storm surge expected to strike the coastline on the back end of Irma never happened, which according to officials has limited damage to property along the coast. The mandatory evacuation order has now been lifted and residents are allowed to return to their homes in a cautious manner.
The bad news is that approximately 40,000 Hernando County residents are still without power, but help is on the way. Sheriff Al Nienhuis says there are 300 utility trucks on their way to Hernando County, under a Florida Highway Patrol escort, and that Sheriff’s Deputies will provide security to utility workers as they make repairs.
There is also a boil water advisory in effect for Weeki Wachee, Hernando County – East of US-41, and all of the City of Brooksville.
County Administrators have decided to extend a state of emergency for Hernando County for another 7-days, due to the ongoing cleanup and repair efforts.Officials warn of unlicensed contractors taking advantage of your misfortune and possibly ripping you off. Sheriff Nienhuis says it’s a felony to conduct certain repairs in Florida without the proper license and to report anyone you think is suspicious. The Building Department is waving fees at this time while homeowners conduct repairs
Chief Scott Heckler reminds those residents still using a generator to not operate the unit inside a garage. Heckler says they have already battled one residential fire, due to a generator fire inside a garage.
There is still a substantial flood threat along the Withlacoochee River. Here is the latest from official on potential impacts:
Withlacoochee River at Trilby:
Current observed value is 14.51 feet at 4:30pm. Forecast to rise to 16.3 feet which is nearly Major flood stage on Sunday afternoon, September 17th, 2017.
Impacts at Trilby:
* 19.2 feet: Water approaches the U.S. 301 bridge roadbed.
* 15.6 feet: Water is 2 to 3 feet over the bridge at Clay Sink Road and State Road 575.
* 15.3 feet: Riverdale trailers are flooded.
* 14.2 feet: River Road east of the river is flooded. One campsite at the park is flooded. Peterson Park is flooded and closed. One home on Cercelia Road is isolated. The Florida Campland is flooded. Wood River Court homes are isolated. And the Withlacoochee River canoe rental is flooded.
* 12 feet: Flooding begins at Lacoochee, Talisman Estates, Riverdale, and River Height Estates.
Withlacoochee River at Croom:
* Current observed value is 8.79 feet at 4:30pm. Forecast to rise above the 9 foot flood stage on Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017, and crest at 10.3 feet on Sunday afternoon, September 17th, 2017.
Impacts at Croom:
* 12 feet: Flooding begins to impact Nobleton.
* 9 feet: Farms and pastureland flood.
Residents living along the river, take emergency action to protect life and property. Flooding will occur.
Challenger K-8 (Special Needs Only) is still open to evacuees but is expected to close soon.
Please go to this website for more information: www.HernandoCounty.us/em
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