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Tavares, Florida 32778


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Morning update from the Lake County EOC

RELEASE DATE: February 16, 2007

TAVARES - The following information is an update (new information in bold text) from the Lake County Emergency Operations Center (EOC):
  • For the first time in 14 days, the Lake County EOC will cease 24-hour operations tonight. Moving from a Level I full activation to Level II partial activation, EOC personnel will be on staff from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Citizens Information Line (352-343-9732) will remain in operation for 24 hours.

  • The Lake County Emergency Operations Center is preparing for 30-degree temperatures on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Residents in the affected areas can request alternative accommodations from the cold weather by contacting the American Red Cross (ARC) through the Lake County Citizens Information Line at (352) 343-9732. Bus transportation is available Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., from the Lake Mack Community Center, located at 31039 Lake Mack Road, and the Lady Lake Disaster Recovery Center, located at 38521 Lakeview Drive, to the ARC-provided accommodations or other social services needs.

  • 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 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 at (352) 343-9732. The center is open for registration from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. As of Thursday, the center has registered 250 volunteers.

  • 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).

  • Business owners impacted by the Dec. 25 or Feb. 2 tornadoes can register locally with FEMA or directly with the Small Business Administration (SBA). They may be eligible to receive disaster assistance loans from the SBA. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA or log on to www.fema.gov. To apply directly to the SBA, call 1-800-659-2955, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or log on to www.sba.gov.

  • 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.

  • Ten FEMA trailers have been delivered and installed since Tuesday. Additional trailers are expected to be delivered and installed throughout today and the weekend.

  • 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. The American Red Cross ceased Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) operations yesterday. The last week, ERVs were supporting volunteer operations in the field.

  • The Salvation Army is providing social services for emergency financial assistance at the Leesburg office, located at 2105 W. Main St., Monday - Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (352) 365-0079. The Salvation Army also provides a free community breakfast at this location on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 a.m., except for Monday, Feb. 19, Presidents Day.

  • 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 Thursday, 86,098 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 Lake County Building Services Division is offering extended hours from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday, for expedited permitting of storm-damaged properties. Friday will be the last day for this service. The Building Services Division will be closed Monday, Feb. 19, for Presidents Day.

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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