KISSIMMEE, Fla. – An Osceola County deputy was rescued via airboat early Thursday after their vehicle became stalled in flooding brought on by what is now Tropical Storm Ian.
In Kissimmee, on Orange Blossom Trail at Benita Street, News 6′s Louis Bolden reported water so deep on roadways — even on those five-lanes wide, as OBT is in that area — that multiple vehicles were left stranded, with water reaching their windows.
The county has released a map of road closures caused by Ian. That map can be found here.
Road-obstructing floods have otherwise been reported throughout Central Florida, including in Orlando and Sanford.
The City of Orlando and Orlando police early Thursday urged residents to shelter in place and stay off roadways as Ian’s flooding prompted high water rescues.
According to a statement from the Orlando’s Emergency Operations Center, multiple rescues had already been made by 5:47 a.m.
The city said 81 high water rescues were performed at the Dockside At Ventura condominium complex along Curry Ford Road by 7:42 a.m., encouraging people with flooding homes to self-evacuate if they can.
‼️ If there is flooding in your home, please self-evacuate to a shelter and avoid driving on flooded roadways.— City of Orlando is Prepared for Hurricane Season (@citybeautiful) September 29, 2022
Find a shelter at https://t.co/ARl29PzsBb. Report flooded streets to the Citizen Information Line: https://t.co/JuF1yD5Mu0 (4357).
In Kissimmee, the airboat sent in to retrieve the Osceola County deputy later moved on to perform additional rescues on the flooded stretch of OBT.
In Volusia County, residents were warned to stay off roads and avoid “historic flooding.”
Volusia County has imposed a curfew that will remain in place until 7 a.m. Friday at the earliest.
Note: A previous version of this story contained a list of some areas where flooded roadways were being reported. The rapidly changing nature of this storm has prompted the removal of that list as a way to avoid unintentionally sharing out-of-date information, or too little of it. Please heed officials’ warnings and refrain from traveling at all unless absolutely necessary.
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