BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County residents should shelter in place as the direct effects of Hurricane Ian begin later today, said Hernando County Administrator Jeff Rogers at a press conference Wednesday.
Rogers said residents should already be in the location where they will weather the storm. Winds will grow stronger as the day goes on, possibly reaching tropical storm force, or 39 to 73 mph. Rain could total 12-18 inches and coastal residents could see storm surge of 3 to 6 feet with high tides expected Thursday at 4 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Coastal residents who live west of U.S. 19, those in manufactured homes and low lying areas are under a mandatory evacuation order.
With recent rains, the ground is already saturated and officials expect the rain to continue at least through Thursday. There are also growing concerns about the Withlacoochee River water level, which is expected to continue to rise in the coming days as the heavy rain throughout the region will drain into that waterway.
Officials warned residents to avoid flooded roadways and be aware there could be hazards including downed power lines, if they move around in and after the storm. They were also cautioned not to use generators inside buildings or other enclosures because improper use can be deadly.
Currently there 125 evacuees in Hernando shelters. County residents with questions or concerns can call Hernando’s public information line at (352) 754-4083.
“Stay safe, Hernando,” Rogers said.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
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IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
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