In a 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Hurricane Ian update, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings urged residents to stay off the roadways as tropical storm-force winds enter the region this afternoon.
“We have some bad news, obviously,” Demings said. “We know that … our county is now centrally within the crosshairs of Hurricane Ian, and that is going to pose some significant challenges for us.
“From all predicted models, it looks like the storm is going to come right over Orange County,” Demings said. “We need to, therefore, plan for the worst, hope for the best in this process.”
Demings said tropical storm-force winds already are entering the region, and within the next 24 hours, Orange County will experience sustained hurricane-force winds — 95 mph — within the next 24 hours.
In addition, Orange County will receive a significant amount of rain as Ian makes its way through the area.
“We expect to receive as much as 2 feet of rainfall within our county,” Demings said. “That means we are going to have some localized flooding … and likely is going to impact numerous areas.”
Flood watches are in effect, as is a tornado watch until at least 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. Furthermore, the storm will not move through the area quickly.
“It is going to be with us for the next day and a half or so, so our residents really have to plan for that,” Demings said.
Orange County Fire Rescue crews have visited all mobile home communities in the county and are urging those residents to evacuate to a shelter.