TAVARES — In anticipation that significant rainfall and damaging winds due to Hurricane Matthew could impact the county later this week, officials have declared a local state of emergency for Lake County.
In addition, the Lake County Emergency Operations Center has moved to a Level 2 - Partial Activation, which includes the opening of the Citizens Information Line. Residents may call 352-253-9999, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., for up-to-date emergency information.
“Lake County personnel and first responders are actively preparing for the serious threat that Hurricane Matthew could pose to Lake County,“ said Lake County Chairman Sean Parks. “Now is the time for residents to finalize their emergency plans, which include not only having a family communication plan, but also having enough supplies, such as food, water, and medication, for the entire family for up to three days.”
The latest forecasted track shows Hurricane Matthew approaching East Central Florida beginning Thursday afternoon, with the possibility of producing damaging tropical storm force winds and rain, flooding, tornadoes, downed trees and power lines and power outages.
Due to probability of sustained high winds on Thursday and Friday, county officials are asking residents to prepare for possible disruption of services to public transit offered through LakeXpress and Lake County Connection.
“The safety of our public transit customers is of the upmost importance,” said Tomika Monterville, manager of Lake County’s Public Transit Division. “Because buses must be pulled off the road once sustained winds reach 37 miles per hour, we ask that all patrons be prepared to have alternate transportation arrangements during this weather event.”
For low-lying areas prone to flooding, Lake County is offering sandbags at four Lake County Fire Rescue stations. Residents must bring their own shovels, and are allowed to take 20 bags of sand per household. Pickup hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the following locations:
To sign up for the latest emergency notifications, visit www.alertlake.com. For more information about Emergency Management, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/emergency and follow Emergency Management at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLEmergencyManagement and www.twitter.com/lakeemergency.