Mayor Demings gives update on storm recovery

Orange County damages from Hurricane Ian have exceeded $172 million.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings provided his 10th story recovery update Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Orange County Emergency Operations Center in Winter Park. Updates also were given by Amy Mercado, Orange County property appraiser, and Capt. Ken Chapman, Salvation Army area commander.

“It has been one week since the most devastating part of Hurricane Ian came to Orange County,” Demings said. “We are in full recovery now.”

He said the South Econ Recreation Center remains the only shelter open at this point and the county is working with various community resource center to house those displaced individuals.

The shelter still is available for individuals who need to relocate from their homes.

The American Red Cross has been managing operations at that location.

“I’m also proud of our family services and community department, which has … distributed more than 2,700 meals and more than 1,000 cases of water across Orange County’s hardest-hit areas,” Demings said.

All six Orange County commissioners have been involved in the relief efforts, along with partners including the American Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Mercado said as of noon Thursday, Oct. 6, there was an estimated $172 million in damages reported, including commercial property, residential homes and mobile homes.

Because of the higher water levels, all boat ramps in unincorporated Orange County are closed until further notice and the “no wake” rule applies to all lakes.

Debris removal began Wednesday, Oct. 5, and this includes yard waste, furniture and trash. Demings said it will take at least six weeks to remove debris from the entire county.

Yesterday alone, debris removal contractors with Orange County Public Works delivered 6,000 tons of garbage to landfills and garbage transfer stations, he added.

Residents are asked to do the following:

• Separate items to be collected by vegetative debris, construction/demolition debris, appliances and electronics.

• Do not stack or lean items on or near trees, poles, fire hydrants or other structures. Additionally, do not block roadways or storm drains.

• Haulers may not pick up all items at one time. They will need to make multiple passes through your community to collect all storm debris.

Chapman said the Salvation Army has been going into the areas with the most need and has served more than 1,400 meals a day.

“We did not expect this kind of flooding,” he said. “We are now in our response stage, and in a few weeks will go into the recovery stage.”

Chapman said the Salvation Army will serve 20,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day and will be expanding its Angel Tree program at Christmastime.

“We will be here until it’s over,” he said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance can help residents recover, and they can apply by visiting, dialing (800) 621-3362 or downloading the FEMA mobile app.

More information can be found by clicking on these links:

· How to Apply for FEMA Assistance After Hurricane Ian

· I Applied for Assistance. What's Next?

· Understanding Your FEMA Letter

· How to Write an Appeal

· How to Appeal FEMA’s Decision

Additionally, the following resources are available for businesses in need of disaster assistance after Hurricane Ian:

·       U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance

·       FloridaJobs



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

Latest News