1. Archive

Where to find post-storm help // FOR YOUR INFORMATION

Depending on how hard Tropical Storm Josephine hit Citrus County overnight, you may find yourself with soggy carpets, contaminated water, closed roads and loss of electrical power. The following phone numbers and information may come in handy:

ROAD CLOSINGS AND EMERGENCY INFORMATION: The Citrus County Sheriff's Office will respond to 911 calls. Additionally, two other numbers are designated for information. To find out about road closings or any other information about local conditions, call 746-5470 or 527-2106.

ELECTRICITY AND OTHER UTILITIES: To report power outages for Florida Power Corp., call (800) 700-8744.

For customers of Withlacoochee Regional Electric Cooperative, call 795-4382.

In Inverness, Sumter Electric plans to remain open. The number is 726-3944.

Both WREC and Florida Power plan to have district offices in Crystal River open today. Spokesmen for both utilities said they had extra work crews available.

To report phone problems, contact United Telephone/Sprint at (800) 339-1811.

Most LP gas companies plan to be open today. According to service manager Bernie Schomas at Tru-Gas Co. in Crystal River, it's best to cut off the gas valve at the tank when a storm threatens. Tanks caught in a flood can break away from a line and float away. If the valve is not closed on the tank, gas can escape and ignite.

LANDFILL: The Citrus County Landfill will be open regular hours today, 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Regular tipping rates will apply: $60 a ton for garbage and $17 a ton for yard debris. The landfill has areas where debris can be separated for disposal.

BANKS: Most area banks contacted Monday planned to be open regular hours on today. ATMs will be operational, depending on electrical service.

FOOD AND SUPPLIES If you need food, water or supplies, both the Publix in Crystal River and the Kash N' Karry in Homosassa Springs plan to remain open today, depending on weather conditions. Further inland, no grocery stores were planning to close today.

CONTAMINATED WATER: Residents who fear that their drinking water is contaminated are advised to boil it for 10 minutes before using it or to treat it with 10 drops of household bleach per gallon of water. For more information, call the county's environmental health unit at 746-5885.

WATER DAMAGE: Flooding in low-lying areas is common when big storms move through. If a carpet has been damaged by salt water, it usually is a total loss, said Bill Ladkani of Professional Carpet System in Crystal River. If it is soaked by fresh water, the water can be pumped out and the carpet dried with fans.

HOSPITALS AND HEALTH DEPARTMENTS: Both area hospitals have reviewed their emergency plans and gone on heightened alert status, hospital representatives said. At Seven Rivers Community Hospital in Crystal River, a few non-essential workers were sent home early Monday. Neither hospital released patients early as a precaution.

Both the Crystal River and Lecanto health departments closed early Monday. An answering service was taking calls but could not say if the agencies would be open. Call 795-6233 in Crystal River and 527-0068 in Lecanto.