Marion County leaders prepare as Hurricane Ian strengthens

Leaders encourage people in the county to prepare their homes, families, animals ahead of storm

Marion County leaders held a news conference Monday to discuss preparations ahead of Hurricane Ian.

OCALA, Fla. – During a news conference, Marion County leaders said they are ready to respond to emergencies from Hurricane Ian.

Leaders said the situation remains fluid, but residents should take this time to prepare and get provisions.

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“Everybody is out buying water but remember, some simple things like fill your bathtubs, get ready, turn your fridges and freezers on max cold, right? you don’t want to lose all of those perishables,” Carl Zalak, chairman of the county commissioners said. “The reality is that if you are in a modular home then you probably need to go to a shelter or you need plans to get out of the way. If you have large animals that are on the west side of our community you need to make plans and preparations and we have a livestock pavilion open.”

Marion County officials are on standby as Ian pushes toward the Florida coast. County leaders urged residents to have an evacuation plan, keep important documents with them, and take proper safety measures.

“Think about your insurance documentation, flood insurance, paperwork that you’re gonna need after the storm,” Preston Bowlin, emergency management director for the county said.

Management at Dogwood mobile home park in Ocala, where residents are 55 and older, handed out a precautionary boil water notice in case power is lost.

“If we lose power, they will lose their water supply because our water is run by electricity,” Gail Pieroni, manager for the community, said. “Please make sure you have water, bottled water and if they don’t have bottled water to be prepared that they’re gonna have to go to the boil water process.”

The Marion County Citizens Information line will be open Tuesday morning where operators will have information on sandbag and shelter locations. The number to call is 352-369-7500

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.