Orange County mayor declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Ian

County plans to go full activation of its emergency management center at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Demings says

(WKMG 2020)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is urging those living in the county to prepare ahead of Hurricane Ian.

“Now is the time to get prepared,” Demings said Monday during a news conference at Orange County’s Emergency Operations Center at 6590 Amory Court in Winter Park.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: News 6 Pinpoint Hurricane Tracker App | SCHOOLS: Here’s how schools are handling Ian]

Demings announced a local state of emergency for Orange County Monday evening to prepare for Hurricane Ian’s expected arrival in Florida later this week.

“If (Ian) holds on the present track, Ian will approach Florida as a strong hurricane with dangerous winds, widespread flooding rains over several days and they anticipate significant potential for tornadic activity as a result of the storm,” Demings said. “In particular, the east Central Florida and Orange County areas are projected to have some direct impacts.”

Demings said the county is making preparations to open shelters as the county has been placed under a tropical storm watch.

“We know that by Tuesday evening we may begin to feel some impacts of the storm but Wednesday and Thursday are the principal days that we are mostly concerned about,” the mayor said.

Demings was joined by Chief Lauraleigh Avery, director of the county’s office of emergency management and Orange County Sheriff John Mina.

The county’s emergency operations center was at Level 2 as of 9 a.m. Monday. The mayor said it will go to full activation Tuesday at 8 a.m.

While it is not yet clear where Hurricane Ian will make landfall in the state, a majority of the state is expected to feel some impacts from the storm.

Floridians are urged to prepare now ahead of any potential storm impacts.

A list of sandbagging locations across Central Florida can be found here.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.