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P.O. Box 7800
Tavares, Florida 32778

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For immediate release - October 20, 2005

Lake County remains optimistic about hurricane track

TAVARESLake County Emergency Management officials are optimistic Hurricane Wilma will not have an adverse effect in Lake County this weekend.

With its current predicted track, Hurricane Wilma is expected to pass well south of Lake County. Emergency management officials are preparing for the possibility of opening host shelters in the County to provide sheltering locations for evacuees from South Florida.

“We are in communication with several facilities for the possibility of opening host shelters,” said Jerry Smith, Director of the Lake County Emergency Management Division. “We will coordinate with the state on when or if this occurs.”

While meteorologists are predicting the storm will have the greatest impact in South Florida, Lake County emergency management officials are in constant communication with the Florida Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Lake County EOC staff, and are prepared to react if the path of the storm were to redirect more toward Central Florida.

 “We are sharing information from the state with the cities of Mount Dora and Clermont to assist them with making the best decisions regarding the preparation of the two public events [Mount Dora Craft Festival and Great Floridian Triathlon] being held this weekend,” Smith said.

Currently, forecasters are predicting less than an inch of rain for Lake County this weekend and possible wind gusts of less than 20 mph beginning late Sunday afternoon. Lake County residents can pick up sandbags Friday and this weekend at various locations.

Sandbags will be available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the Department of Public Works three maintenance facilities located at:

  • Maintenance Area I, 2310 W. Griffin Road, Leesburg
  • Maintenance Area II, 609 Disston Ave., Minneola
  • Maintenance Area III, 19720 E. Fifth St., Umatilla

Sandbags will be available on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at three Department of Public Safety Fire Rescue Division fire stations located at:

  • Station 14, 42700 State Road 19, Altoona
  • Station 53, 2505 Spring Lake Road, Fruitland Park
  • Station 109, 11630 Lakeshore Drive, Clermont

Sandbags are limited to 25 per household. For more information about sandbag distribution, call the Lake County Department of Public Works at (352) 253-4980.

Residents are always encouraged to be prepared during hurricane season by updating their family’s disaster plan and restocking their family disaster kit. For more information about hurricane preparedness, log on to the online hurricane guide.


Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445

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