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HomeNewsRecovery efforts under way in Greater Oviedo and Winter Springs

Recovery efforts under way in Greater Oviedo and Winter Springs

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Some areas of Greater Oviedo and Winter Springs are actively grappling with Hurricane Ian’s aftermath. The City of Oviedo posted an alert for those living in areas nearby the Little and Big Econlockhatchee Rivers as they are “experiencing unprecedented flooding”. 

Hurricane Ian moved over Seminole County late Wednesday and into Thursday bringing 1-in-1,000 year rainfall, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with 15 inches falling in Oviedo and Winter Springs over a 24-hour period.

According to the city, folks living in low-lying areas, and especially Oviedo Forest, Ekana Green and Riverside at Twin Rivers should monitor nearby water levels and prepare for possible evacuation. 

Seminole County experienced no tornadoes, deaths or serious injuries, according to Seminole County spokesperson Andy Wontor. 

About 300 individuals took refuge in the eight emergency shelters across Seminole County since the storm hit. The county can accommodate about 1,000. 

“We were nowhere near capacity,” Wontor said. 

Water

Winter Springs is under a boil-water notice until told otherwise after the city’s drinking water system experienced multiple water main breaks. The city is asking that neighbors reach out to one another to spread this news as some residents have been difficult to reach. 

Nearly 400 addresses will be without water until emergency repairs can be completed.

The city will be distributing cases of water bottles from Winter Springs High School on Friday, Sept. 20. One case will be given per vehicle. 

Call 407-327-2669 for more information. 

Roadways 

A lot of areas in east Seminole County are still impassible. Wontor said people are advised to use common sense when driving in the area. 

“Don’t drive into any sort of flooding. Turn around, don’t drown,” she said. “There could be contamination, wildlife or downed power lines in that flooded water.” 

Here is a list of road closures:

Oviedo

Lockwood Boulevard is closed near Riverside Park. According to the City of Oviedo, residents who live south of Riverside Park should utilize southbound Lockwood Boulevard. 

Winter Springs

The following bridge structures will remain closed until repairs are made.

  • Northern Way at Arabian Avenue (Howell Creek)
  • Northern Way at Mt. Laurel Drive (Howell Creek)
  • Winter Springs Blvd at Blue Creek Drive (Bear Creek)
  • Winter Springs Blvd at Tuscora Drive (Howell Creek)
  • Dyson Drive at Arabian Avenue (Howell Creek)
  • Hayes Road at Alton Road (Gee Creek)
  • Moss Road at Dolphin Road (Gee Creek)
  • South Edgemon at Elderwood Street (Gee Creek)
  • Murphy Road (Gee Creek)

Winter Springs road hazards include the following:

  • Winter Springs Blvd at Gazell Trail
  • Dolphin Road at Green Springs Circle
  • Chokecherry Drive at Sapling Drive
  • Chokecherry at Sequoia Drive

For Seminole County road closure updates please visit www.fl511.com or call 511.

Power outage

Wontor said there are 75 traffic signals that are out across the county and that drivers should treat those as four way stops.

As of Friday, there were currently around 88,000 customers without power, down from 160,000 on Thursday. 

Resources

Disaster distress hotline 

24/7/365 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters

Call or text: 800-985-5990

Emergency food pantry 

Second Harvest Food Bank 

Phone: 407-295-1066

Visit online: Second Harvest Food Bank 

Federal aid

See if you qualify for emergency funding from the FEMA. Apply for assistance here or call 1-800-621-3362. 

Find gas 

Check Gas Buddy for live updates on fuel and power availability. 

Internet access

Spectrum opened Wifi access points across Florida. Find connections here

Schools

Seminole County Public Schools plan to open on Monday, Oct. 3. 

Debris collection

Instructions for debris collection for Oviedo residents can be found here. https://www.cityofoviedo.net/731/Debris-Collection

Instructions for Winter Springs debris collection can be found here: https://www.winterspringsfl.org/community/page/disaster-preparedness

Seminole County said it will make an announcement concerning debris collection soon. 

Garbage collection

Oviedo update: https://www.cityofoviedo.net/736/Garbage-Recycling-and-Yard-Waste-Service

Winter Springs did not have an announcement concerning waste collection. 

Seminole County said regular waste and recycling collection will resume on Monday, Oct. 3. 

Sandbag locations

Sandbag locations are self-serve and individuals need to bring their own shovel and gloves. There is a limit of up to 15 bags per household. Locations will be staffed and assistance will be provided to elderly individuals and those with special needs.

East Seminole County:

  • Old Geneva Volunteer Fire Station, located at 217 2nd St. in Geneva will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

Volunteering, Donating

To contribute to The Heart of Florida United Way’s Hurricane Ian relief fund, visit https://www.hfuw.org/recoveryfund-donate. Funds received will help residents in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties who need assistance recovering from the storm.

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