Emergency operations center activated ahead of Hurricane Ian

Leon Co. updates on Hurricane Ian
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:22 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County emergency management director activated the emergency operations center for the county at a press conference among city and county leaders Monday in preparation for Hurricane Ian.

Director Kevin Peters said Ian exposes Leon County to significant wind threats as well as hurricane-forced winds “for a long period of time” as early as Wednesday evening.

“The storm will also bring moderate rainfall of 4 to 6 inches,” Peters said according to the National Weather Service.

Peters said that the current tracker for Hurricane Ian shows its wind field, or the maximum extent of sustained winds at each threshold and quadrant of the storm, will extend 230 miles from its center.

Mayor John Dailey said that city crews are working to clear debris ahead of landfall of the hurricane to avoid damage to infrastructure across the city.

“You prepare for a direct hit and after an assessment when we go through restoration if needed we will access and mobilize our mutual aid agreements,” Dailey said. “If other communities are in need, of course one, we take care of Tallahassee, Leon County then we would mobilize to help our partners in need.”

Citizens will be updated to the minute on electrical outages that occur during the storm through the “Digi-Tally” app.

Dailey said that all public utility workers and first responders will be dispatched immediately following the storm to assess damages and said the city’s utility is working to assess and harden the city’s power grid.

The county laid out preparations citizens can make ahead of Hurricane Ian, such as preparing your hurricane prep bucket.

The Leon County Sheriff also reminding people to stay off the roadways during the storm, with the expectations of trees being downed from the strong winds expected.

Also adding that you should fuel up your vehicles and have cash on you in case of extended power outages, and urging people to stock up on non-perishable foods.

Peters said if the storm slows down it could make for longer periods of potentially damaging rain and wind. But if the storm slows before it reaches Florida, those winds might not reach the Big Bend until early Thursday morning.

However, the impacts of the storm may be prolonged or amplified in that case, Peters said.

Superintendent of Leon County schools, Rocky Hanna, said they are preparing seven of their schools to serve as storm shelters if needed.

County emergency management said there is a 5 to 10 percent chance of hurricane-forced winds in most of Leon County, albeit dependent on the path of the storm.

The county emergency management department has activated their emergency operations center with essential agency personnel and are making preparations for potential full activation in the coming days.

The county’s public works department has began preparing their equipment for clearing roads and deploying sandbags.

You can download the Leon County Citizens Connect mobile app for timely emergency notifications like shelter locations, road closures and service changes.