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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Marion County preparing to ‘return to normal’ after Hurricane Idalia

Several hours after Hurricane Idalia made landfall along the Gulf coast of Florida, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management announced plans to return to normal operation once all sheltered citizens have returned home.

“We are continuing to remove debris, clear roadways, and restore utilities,” stated Emergency Management in a press release on Wednesday afternoon.

Ocala Electric Utility crews restored power to over 3,800 customers as of 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with 255 customers still without power.

Citizen Information Line

The Citizen Information Line, which was opened for non-emergency questions related to the impact of Hurricane Idalia and the recovery efforts in Marion County, will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Shelter Information

All emergency shelters are now closed. Emergency Management officials are working to return a small number of citizens to their homes.

Government Office Openings

Most government offices and services in Marion County will resume normal operations on Thursday, August 31.

Precautions while Recovery Efforts Continue

Marion County residents are encouraged to take the following precautions while recovery efforts continue:

  • If a downed line is near water – even a small puddle – keep away from it.
  • Be careful not to stand under damaged tree limbs or power lines. Tree limbs can become weakened during a storm but not fall until several hours or days later. The same can be true for damaged power lines or poles.
  • Do not drive or walk over downed power lines.
  • If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside the vehicle until help arrives.
  • Downed power lines that come in contact with a vehicle create a dangerous situation. Do not touch the vehicle, and immediately call 352-732-9111 to report it.
  • Do not drive or walk through standing water. There is no way to know what dangers are hidden beneath the surface.

Marion County Providing Aid to Counties in Northwest Florida

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is currently assembling personnel, equipment, and supplies, which are standing by as needed to dispatch to the Northwest Florida counties that were devastatingly impacted by Hurricane Idalia.

“Our prayers are with those who have lost so much during this difficult time,” stated the sheriff’s office in a press release.

Further updates about these relief efforts will be provided once arrangements have been finalized.