News Update for 9/30/22
Damage estimates are underway as the effects of Hurricane Ian now are being assessed. Trees and power lines are downed and some signs were blown out, officials now are saying there were 90-mph sustained winds measured in Sebring during the storm.
However, the biggest problem is water. Many areas of the county, which already had been inundated, remain flooded. There’s a long list of roads that are impassable due to the water.
Yesterday, as many as 17 roads, streets and other thoroughfares had been closed or declared impassable due to water and debris. It’s unknown how many suffered collapses due to the water and other conditions. Some since have been re-opened County and other crews will be out today continuing assessment and clearing actions.
Meanwhile, Duke Energy and other power crews have been working tirelessly to restore electric service. At one time, there were more than 56,000 Duke and Glades customers without service here. That number represents 87-percent of the households in the county.
Those running generators are reminded to do it outside of homes or garages, in well-ventilated areas away from any air conditioning or other intake vents. Fumes from the machines can be deadly if inhaled.
Internet service also seems to be down in many areas – neither Comcast or Centurylink have indicated when they will be able to restore much of that service.
Highlands’ two hurricane shelters remained open last night, there’s no word on how many people stayed on. As the storm passed, there were more than 200 people in the Special Needs and General Population shelters combined.
The county landfill opens this morning at 10am. Trash collection will commence again today, with trucks picking up Wednesday’s routes. If your trash day is Thursday, that’ll be taken tomorrow. If your scheduled pickup is Friday, they’ll get it next week.
City of Sebring officials have announced their offices will be open today, however, all county offices will remain closed today. There is no school today in Highlands County.
Local authorities say, all things considered, the impact of Hurricane Ian -while significant- is very mild compared to five years ago when Hurricane Irma slashed through the area.
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