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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

City of Ocala provides flood safety tips for residents

In preparation for Hurricane Ian, the City of Ocala is providing several safety tips for residents to ensure that they are prepared and informed as the storm approaches.

In the event of a flood during or after the storm, the City of Ocala Engineer’s Office, Stormwater Engineering Division, recommends that residents take the following actions to remain safe and keep property losses to a minimum:

  • Make sure that drainage ditches near homes are clear of debris and functioning properly.
  • If waters start to rise inside the home before a resident has evacuated, they are encouraged to retreat to the second floor, attic, or roof, if necessary.
  • Be prepared with a flashlight, radio, and dry clothing. Wait for help – do not try and swim to safety.
  • Do not drive or walk through a flooded area. Instead, find an alternative route to take.
  • Stay away from power lines that have been damaged by the storm or flood. Electrocution is a major cause of death in flood situations.
  • If a resident’s home or business has been damaged by a flood, they are encouraged to contact the insurance company that handles their flood insurance to file a claim.

“Most flooding in the City of Ocala is caused by rain that is driven by severe storms, such as tropical storms and hurricanes,” said Payal Pandya, PE, CFM, Stormwater Engineering Division Head, City of Ocala. “Occasionally, heavy rains will cause localized flooding. Also, residents should know if they are in a flood zone. You can visit the city’s website to find out more information to learn more.”

The City of Ocala’s participation in the Community Rating System program includes the availability of City staff to answer questions about flooding, building permit requirements that are more stringent than federal minimum standards, regulations for stormwater management in new construction, and public outreach projects.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Stormwater Engineering Division, at 352-351-6733.