OKEECHOBEE- Okeechobee County residents are waking up today and assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
The storm tore through the area overnight, with its howling, relentless wind knocking out power throughout the county.
Glades Electric says 13,515 of their customers are without power, but they do not have a county by county breakdown of those numbers. The company released a statement saying that they are just beginning damage assessment and that is is highly unlikely that any power restoration will occur today.
There are currently 15,309 FPL customers in Okeechobee County without power.
Over 120 Okeechobee residents rode out the storm at the shelter at South Elementary. Okeechobee School food service employees who worked to provide dinner to those residents describe the mood at the shelter as calm in the lead up to the storm, adding that everyone seemed thankful and appreciative for the safe haven at South Elementary.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) is asking citizens to keep off the roads to give emergency crews the time and also the roadways to perform damage assessments. As the remnants of Ian leave the area, Okeechobee is still experiencing moderate sustained winds, with occasional high gusts in the area which will cause flying debris to include causing weakened trees to fall.
Numerous intersections have traffic lights damaged, hanging or out completely. Treat all lights as a stop sign intersection (4-way all stop) until lights can be fixed.
Please report any and all power lines down or trees down that are covering main thoroughfares or county roadways to our nonemergency line at 863-763-5521 or the EOC call center at 863-824-6888.