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Lake County BCC
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P.O. Box 7800
Tavares, Florida 32778


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Feb. 21 update from the Lake County EOC

RELEASE DATE: February 21, 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, Feb. 11, 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 Tuesday, Feb. 20, the center has registered 411 volunteers. Volunteers have begun helping out residents in Volusia County, in addition to impacted residences in Lady Lake and Lake Mack.

• Future requests from Lady Lake area residents for bus transportation can be made by calling the Lake County Citizens Information Line at (352) 343-9732. Bus transportation from the Lake Mack Community Center, located at 31039 Lake Mack Road, to social services needs will continue daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• 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.

As of this week, 26 FEMA trailers have been delivered and installed in Lake County (13 in Lake Mack, two unincorporated Lady Lake and 11 in the Town of Lady Lake).

Current damage assessment for Lake County is $26.3 million in structural damage. Structural damage in all of Lake County (incorporated and unincorporated) includes 385 damaged and 185 destroyed structures.

• 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.

• 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: vegetative debris, construction debris and household trash. Please do not block mailboxes, driveways, storm drains, fire hydrants or utility boxes with debris. As of Tuesday, 103,757 cubic yards of debris materials have been collected in unincorporated Lake County. As of Feb. 16, the Town of Lady Lake has collected 52,000 cubic yards of debris materials.

• Friday, March 2, is the last day for residents in the Lady Lake area to place storm-related debris for roadside pick up by Lake County and Town of Lady Lake contractors. Sunday, March 4, is the last day for residents in the Lake Mack community to place storm-related debris at the roadside. The final pass of debris collection will start the first week in March. Residents that do not have all debris at the roadside by the deadline risk debris not being picked up. After the deadline, residents may dispose of storm-related debris following normal residential collection guidelines. Yard waste must be bagged, bundled or in an easy to handle container and weigh no more than 50 pounds. Limbs and branches must be tied in bundles weighing no more than 50 pounds, be no longer than 4 feet in length and with limbs no greater than 6 inches in diameter. Residents can also dispose of vegetative storm-related debris at one of Lake County’s drop-off facilities during normal hours of operation.

• Lake and Sumter Emergency Response (LASER) is currently organizing a team of caseworkers to determine the long-term needs of families impacted by the tornadoes in Lake County. LASER is also accepting monetary donations and in-kind services for the massive rebuilding project that lies ahead. To make a monetary donation to LASER, mail checks payable to Lake County BCC (check note: LASER) to P.O. Box 1985, Lady Lake, FL 32158. The County is involved in the process to provide LASER with financial accountability and oversight. In addition, LASER is currently accepting donations for construction materials and supplies, donated labor from skilled construction trades. For more information about making donations, call the Lake County Citizens Information Line at (352) 343-9732.

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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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