Marion County offers sandbags ahead of Hurricane Michael

Michael expected to hit Florida as Category 3 storm

OCALA, Fla. – Marion County emergency officials on Monday designated two locations for sandbags as Hurricane Michael is projected to bring rain to Central Florida.

Officials said the sandbag locations, which opened Tuesday, have been designated for residents in western portions of Marion County.

They are:

  • Dunnellon City Complex, at 11924 Bostick St., in Dunnellon.
  • Wrigley Field, at 405 E. County Road 316, in Citra.

Marion County Emergency Management met Monday with elected officials, department heads and representatives from the cities of Belleview, Dunnellon and Ocala. 

Officials voted on Tuesday not to declare a state of emergency for the county. The county commission chairman, however, has the ability to do so, if necessary, through Nov. 30, officials said.

"Weather officials have stressed to us that this is a rapidly changing storm," officials said. "Because of this, we ask that you stay tuned to the latest updates on Facebook and sign up for weather alerts from Alertmarion.com."

  • Michael is currently a Category 1 hurricane. This means that it has sustained winds of at least 74 mph. 
  • Right now, there are no scheduled closings of public schools. This is a rapidly changing storm, and officials will continue to monitor the latest information regarding the storm.
  • Marion County has not yet opened any shelters. 
  • Residents should expect an increase in vehicle traffic as some of those living in the Florida Panhandle area may be traveling through and utilizing fuel stations within Marion County.    
  • Current projections show that western portions of Marion County may be subjected to increased rain and potential winds ranging in speeds of 30 – 40 mph with potential gusts up to 50 mph. This has the potential to cause downed trees and tree limbs. 
  • Residents living in low-lying areas of western Marion County that are prone to flooding may want to temporarily relocate.  
  • Rainfall predictions are showing that Marion County may receive 3 inches of rain.

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