When Irma reached into Central Florida, its eye wall had already fallen apart. However, Ocala saw tropical storm force winds and lots of rain.
By Taylor Foland
Hurricane Irma was the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and above. Irma has devastated the Florida Keys, flooded parts of Tampa, Jacksonville, and of course ripped through South Florida. Central Florida is also recovering from this massive hurricane.
SECO Electric is slowly returning power to its customers. Clay Electric services parts of Northern Marion County, and Alachua County, customers are waiting for their power to be returned also. They have released an “outage map” which you can view here: http://outagemap.clayelectric.com/
Fallen trees, flooded areas, and standing water are the primary concern. Some trees have gone down on power lines and linesmen have come as far away as Ohio to help. Linesmen have been working sixteen hour shifts to get power back to customers. Gas shortages are also a problem, many people are conserving what they have and are not going out for unnecessary trips.
When Irma reached into Central Florida, its eye wall had already fallen apart. However, Ocala saw tropical storm force winds and lots of rain. The power outage now is the largest that the southeastern United States has ever seen, stretching from Texas, all the down through Florida. With still about 2.3 million customers waiting for their power to return.
Clean-up efforts are now underway, and Marion County has scheduled Monday as a pick up day for debris. Some streets in Ocala are suffering from flooding, including 27th Avenue, and 475 A, just south of 31st Street.
Flooding has also impacted the iconic Tuskawilla Park near the heart of Downtown Ocala. Southwestern Marion County saw most of the action, with winds of 100 mph. Steady winds were felt in northeastern Marion county, reaching forty to fifty miles per hour.
Hurricane debris will be picked up on Monday in the City of Ocala. Ocala is working with Crowder-Gulf and people are encouraged to stack up what they have and leave it on the side of the road for pick-up.
Residents who live on county-maintained roads are encouraged to pick up all hurricane debris they have, and set it by the curb, separate from their trash and recycling.
Marion County residents can call the county engineer at 352-671-8686 to determine whether they live on a county-maintained road.
Local law enforcement is working around the clock to meet the needs of the community. Marion County Disaster Relief is coordinating with the United Way and several other non-profit organizations for donations.
Stay with Central Florida Post for post-Irma updates across Central Florida.
Taylor Foland is a Volunteer Coordinator for ACT For America, the nation’s largest grassroots national security group. ACT has over 750,000 members and 1,000 allied volunteers groups across America.