Additional shelters are opening in the counties served by SECO Energy to assist residents in need of shelter during Hurricane Dorian. SECO members who require uninterrupted electricity to power medical devices are advised to wait out Hurricane Dorian at a shelter that meets their special needs. Deadly Hurricane Dorian stalled over parts of The Bahamas on Monday destroying property and is responsible for a reported five deaths.
Hurricane Dorian is spinning at about 120 mph at a forward speed of just 2 mph. Hurricane force winds extend 40 miles and tropical storm winds extend 160 miles. Dorian is expected to pick up forward motion later today and bring rain bands and sustained winds of about 25 mph to the SECO service territory. Overnight and into Wednesday, SECO Energy members east of I-75 will likely experience sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts up to 50 mph. SECO Energy is StormReady with 800 additional line and tree contractors from Rhode Island, Indiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York and New Jersey.
CEO Jim Duncan stated, “Hurricane Dorian is forecast to move away from The Bahamas and move northwest with an eventual eastern turn that keeps it just off Florida’s coast. SECO Energy’s service area could begin to feel the hurricane’s effects late this afternoon. Members who live in homes or areas that are subject to flooding, suggested to evacuate, or need guaranteed power to sustain life should check in at a shelter today. If conditions deteriorate emergency personnel may be grounded and unable to help until the storm passes.”
Duncan added, “SECO Energy has been monitoring and preparing for Hurricane Dorian since early last week. The cooperative is prepared for power outages caused by Hurricane Dorian. Out-of-state crews began to arrive on Monday to assist. Please take this storm seriously and put your family’s safety first.”
Two shelters are open in Sumter County. A pet-friendly, general public shelter is available at the Sumter County Fairgrounds at 7620 SR 471, Webster. A special needs shelter is open in Wildwood at the Wildwood Community Center at 5600 Powell Road. Sumter County officials are concerned that flooding in the county will be worse than in 2017 with Hurricane Irma. Shelters are available for residents living in mobile homes, recreational vehicles and low-lying flood prone areas.
Six shelters are open in Lake County. The general public shelter is open at Mount Dora High School located at 700 N. Highland Street, Mount Dora. Two pet-friendly shelters are available at Round Lake Elementary 31333 Round Lake Road, Mount Dora and Spring Creek Elementary 44440 Spring Creek Road, Paisley. Three special needs, pet-friendly shelters are open at Leesburg Elementary 2229 South Street, Leesburg and Lost Lake Elementary 1901 Johns Lake Road, Clermont and Umatilla Elementary 401 Lake Street, Umatilla.
Marion County is opening four shelters. Two general population shelters are opening today at noon located at Fort McCoy Middle School at 16160 NE County Road 315, Ft. McCoy and North Marion Middle School at 20085 W Highway 329, Citra. A special needs only shelter is currently open at West Port High School at 3733 SW 80th Avenue, Ocala. A pet-friendly shelter at Lake Weir High School at 10351 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala opens at noon today.
Citrus, Hernando, Levy and Pasco Counties are not opening shelters at this time, but officials are closely monitoring Hurricane Dorian. Schools are closed on Tuesday (today) in Citrus, Hernando, Levy, Pasco and Sumter Counties. In Lake County, schools are closed Tuesday and Wednesday; in Marion County, schools are closed for the rest of this week.
SECO Energy’s Hurricane Handbook is available on SECOEnergy.com by clicking on the homepage banner. The Hurricane Handbook offers members tips for preparing before, during and after a storm. The cooperative has included tips on generator safety, downed power line safety, electric system 101, Florida’s Move Over Law and more.
StormCenter is SECO Energy’s outage and communications platform for members to report outages, check the status of an existing outage and enroll in outage communications and alerts via email, text, voice or all three. Visit StormCenter today at SECOEnergy.com>StormCenter and bookmark on your smartphone or tablet to report outages quickly and easily. Once the hurricane has passed SECO’s area later next week, members should use our Daily Restoration Plan Map to identify if crews are working in their area that day. Visit SECOEnergy.com and click on the homepage banner to access the map.