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Two memorial ceremonies planned in Lake County for one-year anniversary of Groundhog Day tornadoes

RELEASE DATE: January 25, 2008

LADY LAKE — Lake County will mark the anniversary of the tornadoes that swept through the communities of Lady Lake and Lake Mack on Groundhog Day last year with two memorial ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 2, and Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The first ceremony on Feb. 2 is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Log Cabin Park, located at 106, S. U.S. Highway 441 in Lady Lake. The second ceremony on Feb. 6 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Lake Mack Park, located at 21235 E. Lake Drive.

Both ceremonies will include the unveiling of a monument and the planting of a memorial tree, as well as brief speeches from government and emergency management officials from various agencies, including Lake County, Town of Lady Lake, State of Florida and National Weather Service.

The second date in Lake Mack is significant because it occurs during National Hazardous Weather Awareness Week. Before the ceremony, the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, will work in conjunction with Spring Creek Elementary School to conduct a tornado drill.

"As the school conducts its tornado drill, the Lake County Emergency Operations Center will also be carrying out a tornado exercise," said Jerry Smith, Director of the Lake County Emergency Management Division. "This will give us an opportunity to review and implement some of those lessons learned from the Groundhog Day tornadoes."

Following the exercise and ceremony, Spring Creek Elementary, located at 44440 Spring Creek Road in Paisley, is hosting an educational expo from 2 to 6 p.m. The community is invited to the school to learn how to prepare for a disaster. In attendance for the expo will be a host of local agencies including the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lake County Fire Rescue, Lake-Sumter EMS, Lake County Health Department and American Red Cross.

For more information about the planned memorial activities or for disaster preparation information, call the Lake County Emergency Management Division at (352) 343-9420.

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

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