Seminole County provides free sandbags ahead of potential tropical storm

System expected to become Tropical Storm Isaias

SANFORD, Fla. – Emergency officials in Seminole County said they want to prepare residents in case a tropical storm approaches, especially during the pandemic.

Starting Wednesday, sandbags will be available for Seminole County residents at the Boombah Seminole County Sports Complex on East Lake Mary Boulevard in Sanford. Sandbag distribution will run daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wendy Hosler and her husband, Robert, were the first ones to arrive at the sports complex Wednesday morning.

Hosler said they are not too worried about the tropics but want to be prepared.

“It could be nothing or it could be a big rainmaker but that’s water in our back door so we are (doing) just like we do every year, take precautions and do what we need to do. Protect ourselves and hopefully keep our home dry,” Hosler said.

Jason Souza and his son Liam grabbed sandbags on Wednesday as well.

“People are getting prepared you,” Marie Lackey with Seminole County Public Works said. “The whole idea is getting the word out to people to prepare if they don’t use it for this storm, they have it for another storm that comes around.”

Due to social distancing, officials said residents will need to bring their own shovels to fill and load their own sandbags. Only 15 sandbags are allowed per household.

“We used to have the community shovel, where you can grab a shovel from public works and fill up your sandbags, (but now) it’s BYOS: bring your own shovel this year. We will make sure that everyone is socially distant,” said Alan Harris, Seminole County emergency manager.

Sandbags will also be available daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sanford Public Works facility at 800 W. Fulton St.

A site at the Oviedo Public Works maintenance yard at 1725 Evans St. will be open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Orange County, sandbags have been available for the last couple of weeks through its self-serve sandbag program.

Residents are encouraged to bring their own shovel and face mask.

Sandbags in Orange County are available at Barnett Park, Bithlo Community Park, Downey Park, Meadow Woods Park and West Orange Recreational Complex.

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