Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive


DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS: Here are the latest statistics about the damage Citrus suffered during Frances. Homes: 476 suffered minor damage, 175 had major damage and 24 were destroyed. Businesses: 103 suffered minor damage, 35 had major damage and 10 were destroyed.

UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: Disaster unemployment assistance helps people who became unemployed as a direct result of a declared disaster. It covers self-employed individuals, owners of farms and ranches, farm and ranch workers, as well as fishers and others who are not normally covered by state unemployment compensation.

Applications may be filed online at (indicate on the application that it is a disaster-related unemployment claim). Telephone applications may be filed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling toll-free 1-800-204-2418.

For information and qualification requirements for temporary employment due to a disaster, call Lisa Connolly at (352) 873-7939, ext. 219.

For information, contact a disaster relief representative at the One Stop Workforce Connection office nearest you. In Citrus County, call 794-5414.

FEMA: Volunteers from the federal agency are combing through Citrus County and providing information for homeowners, renters and business owners affected by Frances. A few notes:

Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and does not normally compensate for an entire loss. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back; some comes in the form of a loan.

To apply for assistance by phone, call toll-free 1-800-621-3362. The phones are staffed around the clock; try calling during off hours.

Please have the following information available when you call: address and phone number where you can be reached, Social Security number, current mailing address, date damage occurred, address of the affected property, brief description of the damage, insurance information and family gross income.

If you are eligible for disaster assistance, you may choose to have the assistance check deposited directly into your bank account.

If you receive a notice of denial, read it carefully and check for appellate options.

SANDBAGS: The county has opened three sandbag sites:

Stokes Ferry Road, Hernando.

9556 E Bushnell Road, Floral City.

The fire station at 9837 E Gulf to Lake Highway (State Road 44), Inverness.

DEBRIS PICKUP: Residents are encouraged to transport any storm-related debris to the alternate landfill that has been established on Maylen Avenue. Debris cleanup crews, including those contracted by the county and the city of Inverness, will begin work Monday. All homeowners, including people who live on private roads, and all business owners should bring storm-related vegetative debris (tree limbs, palm fronds, etc.) and storm-related structural debris to the curbside as quickly as possible. Make sure you don't mix the two types of debris. While the collection date has not been determined, these crews will be collecting from your street only once. If materials are placed after this day, they will not be collected. This service is free.

Do not pile debris on or around mailboxes, water meters, fire hydrants or next to fences, cars, telephone poles or under guide wires. Most debris will be picked up mechanically, and the debris needs to be accessible to prevent damage to other structures. Place debris on the edge of the road pavement; crews will not come into yards to remove debris.

Contractors are not authorized to remove normal household garbage, construction debris, appliances or household hazardous waste. If these items are mixed with the vegetative debris, nothing will be picked up. Residents who decide to perform their own cleanup and deliver items to the landfill will be charged the normal prices.

ALTERNATE LANDFILL: The county has established an alternate landfill for vegetative debris and storm-related structural debris. To reach this site, turn north off State Road 44 onto Maylen Avenue and follow the signs. Maylen is west of County Road 490. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. There is no charge for this service.

OTHER NUMBERS: American Red Cross: toll-free 1-866-438-4636

Animal Services: 726-7660

Florida Highway Patrol: toll-free 1-800-500-1240

Swiftmud: (352) 796-7211

To report price gouging: toll-free 1-800-646-0444

FEMA: toll-free 1-800-621-3362

Sources: News reports, Citrus County Emergency Operations Center.