OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Osceola County leaders held a news briefing Tuesday evening, lifting a curfew that was put in place before Hurricane Dorian began inching away from Florida.
Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson announced at 6 p.m. Tuesday that the curfew would not be enacted because the area was no longer under any watches or warnings. He said he coordinated with forecasters before making that decision.
Central Florida residents started to feel the impacts of the Category 2 storm Tuesday as it edged closer to Florida's east coast. The storm had stalled for 24 hours, before continuing to move northwest Tuesday morning at 1mph.
"Hurricane Dorian continues to barely crawl its way through the Bahamas. We are currently under a tropical storm warning and residents should not take the lack of movement as a sign that all is clear," Cheryl Grieb, BOCC Chairwoman and Commissioner said.
Grieb said the county could face tropical storm winds that are expected to gust beginning at 2 p.m. until 10 a.m. Wednesday.
"These times are based on the storm's current positions and are heavily dependent on its speed," she said. Grieb emphasized the situation is fluid and Dorian's speed is paying a major factor in predicting how the hurricane would impact Osceola County.
Grieb said the county-wide curfew would go into effect at 11 p.m. The curfew lifts at 6 a.m. and will be in place until it is rescinded.
The Emergency Operation Center is operating at Level 1, full activation. Emergency management staff is working to keep residents safe and prepare for the worst of Dorian's impacts.
Due to Dorian's slow movement and so much uncertainty surrounding its track, the county said their government offices and schools will remain closed Wednesday.
Emergency management officials are asking people in low-lying areas and mobile homes to heed the voluntary evacuation order.
So far, more than 500 people have opted to utilize one of the seven shelters opened within the county, according to Grieb.
"We have already been coordinating with our local nonprofits to reach out to the homeless. They can contact our Citizens Information Center at 407- 742-0000 and transportation to the nearest shelter will be provided," Grieb said.
Grieb said Tuesday's briefing will be the county's last until post-storm communications are necessary.
Hurricane Dorian is on the move Tuesday morning while battering the Bahamas as Florida waits to see what type of impact the storm will make on the Sunshine State.