County lifts evacuation orders, closes shelters

The mandatory evacuation order for Evacuation Zone A, which includes all low-lying areas west of U.S. Highway 19 and some areas additional areas east of U.S. Highway 19, has been lifted as of 8:00am on Thursday, September 29, 2022. Public shelters will close at 11:00am.

As we continue to feel the impact of Hurricane Ian, Citrus County may experience flooding, fallen trees, and down telephone poles/wires. If you see any of this, or other debris blocking roadways in our county, please call into the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Information Line at (352) 249-2775.

COUNTY CLOSURES:

  • County government offices will reopen on Friday, September 30, 2022.
  • Bicentennial Pool will be closed through Friday.
  • All Citrus County Parks and Recreation programs are canceled through Thursday.
  • All Citrus County Library System programs are cancelled through Saturday.

For the most current updates, please visit the Citrus County government Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CitrusCountyBOCC.

Hurricane Ian now tropical storm

Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Citrus County is no longer under a storm surge warning and the areal flood watch for the county has been canceled. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Center is now downgrading to a partial activation, level 2 status.

From the National Weather Service briefing at 7 a.m., Tropical Storm Ian will still produce strong wind gusts throughout the day in Citrus County. As these winds start to pull away with Ian’s movements, it will loosen debris from trees, roof tops, etc.

The county’s Emergency Management officials are advising residents to remain cautious the remainder of the day while driving and walking outside due to this hazard.

Meanwhile, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners have lifted the mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders, effective 8 a.m. this morning. In addition, all shelters will be closed at 11 a.m. today.

Citrus County, the City of Inverness, and the City of Crystal River will reopen government offices tomorrow, Sept. 30. Citrus County schools will remain closed and reopen Monday, Oct. 3.

Citrus County: Hurricane Ian mandatory evacuation notice

BOCC SealThe Citrus County Board of County Commissioners has issued a MANDATORY EVACUATION for Zone A.

This zone includes all low-lying areas west of U.S. Highway 19 and some areas additional areas east of U.S. Highway 19.

All other areas are advised to voluntary evacuate, especially those citizens living in mobile homes, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles throughout the county.

Citizens may view our county’s evacuation zones here to determine if they are in this mandatory evacuation:

https://cms5.revize.com/revize/citrus/divisions/bureau%20support%20operations/EM/evacuation-zones.pdf

Shelters will be OPENING today at 6 p.m., at the following locations (PLEASE NOTE THAT NOT ALL LOCATIONS ARE OPEN, ONLY THOSE LISTED BELOW):

  • Forest Ridge Elementary School (Special Needs) – 2927 North Forest Ridge Blvd., Hernando, FL 34442
  • Lecanto Primary (Pet Friendly) – 3790 W Educational Path, Lecanto, FL 34461
  • Central Ridge Elementary School (General Population) – 185 West Citrus Springs Blvd., Citrus Springs, FL 34434
  • Citrus High School (General Population) – 600 West Highland Blvd., Inverness, FL 34452

Public shelters should be an option of last resort.  Citizens should make all preparations to shelter with family or friends and exhaust all other options before utilizing a public shelter.

Sexual Offenders must report to the Citrus County Detention Facility to seek shelter if needed. The facility is located at 2604 W Woodland Ridge Dr., Lecanto, FL 34461.

Please continue to take this weather event seriously and take the time now to get last minute essential supplies.

Our Citizen Information Lines (CIL) are open from 8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. today. Citizens can call (352)249-2775 for information regarding Hurricane Ian and what they can do to prepare.

At this time, all county government buildings will be closed Wednesday, September 28th, through Thursday, September 29th.  This includes the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office main operations building in Inverness, substations in Crystal River and Beverly Hills. The Tax Collectors Office and the Department of Health will be closed (Wed. & Thurs.).

Jury Duty for the Clerk of Courts is cancelled for tomorrow.

Please ONLY use 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

County opens sandbag sites ahead of Hurricane Ian

In preparation for Tropical Storm Ian, two Citrus County sandbag sites will open on Monday, September 26, 2022, at 8:00am:

  • 4210 S Grandmarch Ave, Homosassa (Off of Grover Cleveland Blvd)
  • 7500 W Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River

(State Road 44, across from Dan’s Clam Stand)

If you have any questions about sandbag sites, contact the Citrus County Road Maintenance Division at (352) 527-7610.

For more information and updates, visit the Citrus County Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CitrusBOCC.

U.S. hits 1 million deaths from COVID-19

THE HILL — The United States has reached 1 million reported deaths from COVID-19, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a number that shows the shocking toll the virus has taken on the nation.

The U.S. has had more deaths per capita than Western Europe or Canada, and while new deaths have fallen, they are still rising.

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4 charged with stone crab fishing violations

On Tuesday, April 5, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers aboard the FWC’s offshore patrol vessel Fin Cat along with FWC aviation unit officers were jointly conducting an operation to monitor for stone crab vessels fishing in the closed areas of the Big Bend stone crab – shrimping zones.

The FWC aviation crew advised they had viewed a stone crab vessel in closed zone 2. That vessel began making circles in the area to retrieve their traps from the bottom, actively fishing their traps in a closed area.

“When the vessel crew of the Nauti Crab noticed our patrol vessel headed toward them, the crew dropped all of the stone crab gear to the bottom,” said Lt. Scott Smith. The captain stated they had broken down and just fixed their vessel. They insisted they had not been crabbing in that area.”

Continue reading “4 charged with stone crab fishing violations”