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Highlands County bracing for possibility of Hurricane force winds

Posted at 8:39 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 20:39:53-04

SEBRING, Fla. -- In an hours-long line of people desperately waiting for generators, they can't help but remember Hurricane Irma.

"It was very scary. The house would creek the windows would bow," said Barry Bowser, who lives in Sebring.

During Irma, hurricane-force winds caused areas of Highlands County to lose power for days, even weeks.

Now Dorian is posing the same threat.

"We pray to the Lord that he keeps us safe and everybody else," said Paula Chaney.

Chaney, 78, is buying a generator for her husband's medical needs if the power happens to go out.

"My mind is somewhere else right now, it has to be because I can’t wrap my mind around it. All I can do is keep praying to the Lord," said Chaney.

Highlands County’s Emergency Operations Center has released the following information.

Highlands County is currently operating under a state of local emergency. Emergency Management is currently at Level 2 Activation and has been in contact with the National Weather Service and State DEM with multiple conference calls and webinars, and will send out updates as necessary.

It is important that you review the emergency plans for your home and office, to make sure that you are prepared. Those wanting to receive text updates From the EOC can text “HCDORIAN” to 888777. Text messages will be sent as new and relevant information becomes available.

For those that may need sandbags, Highlands County will have them available for pickup at the Road and Bridge Offices located in Sebring at 4344 George Boulevard; in Avon Park at the R & B office located at East Winthrop Street; and in Lake Placid at the R & B office located on C.R. 621 from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The limit is 10 sandbags per person.

Other available locations include:
• Avon Park sand area will be at the intersection of C.R. 17, Isabelle Lake Road and Old Bombing Range Road
• Sebring sand area will be on South George Boulevard, just north of the EOC
• Lake Placid sand area will be at the intersection of C.R. 621 and Highlands Lake Drive

No shelters are open at this time. Updates Official updates will be provided at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.