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P.O. Box 7800
Tavares, Florida 32778

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Evening update from the Lake County EOC

RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2007

TAVARES - The following information is an update (new information in bold text) from the Lake County Emergency Operations Center (EOC):
  • The Lake County Volunteer Center base camp, under the title “Operation: Groundhog Heroes,” opened Sunday at 33926 County Road 473 in Leesburg. For the safety and well-being of volunteers and residents, potential volunteers and current volunteers working in the disaster areas are encouraged to register through this center. For more information about “Operation: Groundhog Heroes,” call the Lake County Citizens Information Line 24 hours a day at (352) 343-9732. The center is open for registration from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. To date, the center has registered 176 volunteers.
  • Lake County passed out fliers and utilized public address systems on safety vehicles today to alert residents in the affected areas of the impending storm that swept across Central Florida. About 20 individuals sought shelter at the two provided storm shelters. The shelters closed this evening.
  • Residents are encouraged to first contact their home insurance company before seeking building permits or FEMA assistance. To apply for FEMA assistance, call 1-800-621-FEMA or log on to www.fema.gov. Four Disaster Recovery Centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. These centers provide Lake County residents with an opportunity to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists, representatives from state and federal government, and mental health counselors. The four centers Lake County residents can visit are located at: 38521 Lakeview Drive in Lady Lake; 1985 Laurel Manor Drive in The Villages (Sumter County); 31039 Lake Mack Road in the Lake Mack community; and 1669 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand (Volusia County).
  • Current damage assessment for Lake County is $24.8 million in structural damage. Specific structural damage numbers include: unincorporated Lake County 206 damaged and 93 destroyed homes; and incorporated Lady Lake 163 damaged and 91 destroyed homes.
  • Two American Red Cross (ARC) service centers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for tornado-impacted residents to apply for ARC disaster assistance in the form of vouchers for food and clothing. These centers are located at the Lady Lake Municipal Center, 409 Fennell Blvd., and the Lake Mack Community Building, 31039 Lake Mack Road.
  • All Lake County residents that need assistance getting storm-related debris to the roadside are encouraged to call 1-866-540-2325 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Residents should make three separate piles: storm-related debris, plant debris and household trash. Please do not block mailboxes, driveways, storm drains or fire hydrants with debris. As of Monday, Feb. 12, 69,743 cubic yards of debris materials have been collected. It is estimated that the Groundhog Day tornadoes caused more than 200,000 cubic yards of debris in Lake County. The Town of Lady Lake reports as of Monday, Feb. 12, more than 60,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris and 10,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris have been collected.
  • Teams of two Project Hope counselors are deployed on a daily basis from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at each Disaster Recovery Center in Lake County (38521 Lakeview Drive, Lady Lake, and 31039 Lake Mack Road). Services are free and there are also information sheets for identifying and dealing with feelings of stress. Project Hope is funded by the Department of Children and Families to provide crisis response counseling for those affected or seeking information.
  • The Lake County Building Services Division is offering extended hours from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday, for expedited permitting of storm-damaged properties. At the Town of Lady Lake and Lake Mack disaster recovery centers, the Building Services Division has a plans examiner and building technician stationed to issue non-structural permits from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday will be the last date for this service as the need for emergency permits has dwindled. After Wednesday, the mobile units will still be patrolling the affected areas looking for unlicensed contractors and will be available to issue emergency permits by calling the Building Services Division at (352) 343-9653. To date, these mobile permitting have processed 52 permits.


Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445

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