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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Lake officials declare state of emergency as Hurricane Idalia strengthens to category 2

Lake County has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Idalia, which strengthened into a category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of over 100 mph.

On Tuesday afternoon, the county issued its first emergency order of the year, one day after Governor Ron DeSantis issued his emergency order for 33 counties across North Central Florida.

“This Emergency Order shall take effect upon signature and shall be in effect for seven days or until cancelled or extended as required by law,” reads the order.

It was signed by Gary J. Cooney, Lake County Clerk of Courts, and Kirby Smith, the chairman of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.

As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Hurricane Idalia has been upgraded to a category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of over 100 mph.

The hurricane is approximately 195 miles southwest of Tampa and is expected to generate “life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions” along portions of the Gulf Coast of Florida beginning late tonight.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lake County officials announced that curbside collection services will be suspended on Wednesday, August 30. Wednesday curbside pickup will be shifted to Thursday, and residents who are scheduled for Thursday pickup will be shifted to Friday.

In addition, government offices, including the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, the tax collector’s office, the supervisor of elections office, and the fifth judicial court would all be closed on Wednesday. Libraries, schools, and district offices, will also be closed on Wednesday.

Two pet-friendly emergency shelters opened on Tuesday at the Villages Elementary of Lady Lake (695 Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake) and Lost Lake Elementary (1901 Johns Lake Road, Clermont).

Additionally, around 1,000 trucks and thousands of line workers were gathered by Duke Energy on Tuesday in preparation for the hurricane.

Officials are reminding residents who experience power outages to contact their electricity provider. The following is a list of companies provided power to the county:

Customer Service: 352-728-9800
Report outages: 833-223-1313
Customer Service: 352-735-7151
Report outages: 352-735-7141
Local: 352-685-2111
Customer service: 800-224-4917
Report outages: 888-434-9844
Customer service: 800-700-8744
Report outages: 800-228-8485
Report outages: 800-732-6141

Eustis Office: 352-357-5600; Groveland Office: 352-429-2195; Sumterville Office: 352-793-3801

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