Pinellas County residents who evacuated from their homes under county order in anticipation of Hurricane Ian can return Thursday morning.
The county announced it would lift evacuation orders — issued earlier this week for residents in zones A, B and C, and for mobile and manufactured homes — effective 9 a.m. Thursday.
The order ending doesn’t mean that traveling home will be without hazards, officials warned. Downed trees and power lines block roads in some places and should be avoided. Drivers shouldn’t attempt to drive through flooded roads. Some traffic signals are out; these should be treated as four-way stops.
County crews are assessing damage, according to a press release, and utilities crews had planned to begin work on repairs as soon as it became safe.
More than 185,000 Duke Energy customers in Pinellas still had no power as of 7 a.m., the county said. Water service was running, and no parts of the county were under a boil water notice.
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WHEN THE STORM HAS PASSED: Now what? Safety tips for returning home.
POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.
WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?
WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
IT’S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.