Sumter County declares emergency to prepare for Hurricane Ian

County gets power to enact protective measures

The Sumter County Board of Commissioners approved a local declaration of emergency as Hurricane Ian is moving closer to the Florida gulf coast.

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – The Sumter County Board of Commissioners approved a local declaration of emergency as Hurricane Ian moves closer to the Florida Gulf Coast.

During a special meeting on Monday, local leaders said the declaration would give the county additional powers to keep residents safe.

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“It gives certain protective actions in response to Hurricane Ian, such as opening shelters, ordering evacuations, and taking any protective measures that we might need to take,” Emergency Management Director David Casto said.

While reviewing the latest forecast, local leaders said they expect the possibility of hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, and the potential for tornadoes as Hurricane Ian moves closer to the area.

With concerns over the potential impact, residents were filling up gas tanks and buying supplies on Monday.

Barbara Spoonhower lives in The Villages and said she’s preparing to ride out the storm at her home.

“The winds are a little concerning, but our home is six inches of solid concrete. So, I’m concerned, but not overly concerned,” Spoonhower said.

Casto said a decision on opening shelters would likely be made on Monday.


About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.