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Orange County Prepared For Heavy Rain, Ready To Open Shelters If Needed As Isaias Approaches

Image: Orange TV
Image: Orange TV

Orange County mayor Jerry Demings says there are plenty of hotel rooms available if people need to evacuate from the coast as Hurricane Isaias approaches. 

The storm is forecast to brush the east coast of Florida as a category one hurricane, passing the central Florida area Saturday evening through Sunday morning. 

Demings said 84% of hotels in the county are now open. 

“And the occupancy level for the collective number of hotel rooms is as 32%, which means there are plenty of hotel rooms should coastal residents need to take shelter inland here within our county itself.”

The county is prepared to open community shelters if necessary. Orange County public safety director Danny Banks says given the storm’s current track, he isn’t anticipating evacuations at this stage. 

“We are prepared for shelter activation in Orange County, if that were to occur, including our special needs shelters that we have a very, very well structured designed for those special needs shelters, taking in mind COVID-19 issues that could be relevant to the, to the folks in those shelters," said Banks.

Banks said people should register for a special needs shelter now by calling 311 even if they don’t need to go to one during this storm. 

County staff have been lowering water levels in reservoirs and clearing waterways in flood-prone areas in case of significant rain. Residents can fill sandbags at county locations until 8 p.m. Saturday.