Marion County residents prepare for Tropical Storm Hermine

People line up in Marion County to fill sandbags ahead of storm

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – People in Marion County continued filling sandbags Thursday as they prepared for expected heavy rain Tropical Storm Hermine.

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Homeowners in Ocala told News 6 that they are hoping for the best, but planning for the worst.

Nadine Lenior said that she operates an assisted living home, taking care of a group of six elderly.

"I want to make sure my people are safe, and also I have a neighbor that's handicapped. So, I also want take some for him too," said Lenior.

Lenior said that recent storms elsewhere have encouraged her to get sandbags for the first time.

"Louisiana caught my attention. I want to make sure I am prepared and also to help others," said Lenior.

Dale Berman said she is always prepared, even printing out her own emergency checklist to make sure she doesn't forget anything.

"That's my nature. I try to. I panic. I say, 'OK we have to get ready,' and my husband is out playing tennis and laughs at me," said Berman. "I went online and I go onto the Red Cross hurricane safety checklist and I'm going to try, we are trying to keep everything charged and do everything on this list."

Marion County's Office of Emergency Management said they are on standby, closely monitoring Tropical Storm Hermine.

"Should the storm speed up, turn more towards Marion County, we have the ability to open this up as a fully activated emergency management center and all the public officials and partners come in and we can communicate from this location," said Lt. Ryan Robbins.

Marion County said that its command center was built to hold up against a Category 5 storm. The building can run off of generators and is stocked with emergency supplies.

"We have no scheduled meetings at this point. We have everyone's contact information so, should things escalate in regards to the storm and concerns for this particular area of Marion County, we'll send out those alerts, we will get everyone in," said Lt. Robbins.

Marion County also urges people to stay off the roads if they can during a possible storm, to prevent any unnecessary emergencies.

The county also asks residents to sign up for weather updates at www.AlertMarion.com

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