North Central Florida recently faced some unexpected heavy rainfalls. Two major accidents occured on rain-soaked Interstate-75 near Ocala, about twelve-hundred houses lost power and more than 20 city streets are still reported to be flooded. Florida’s 89.1, WUFT’FM’s Kristen Hammel spoke wih Ocala Spokesman Sonney Allen who says crews are currently working on barricading and sandbagging the area.
WUFT: Can you describe the effects of the flooding for our listeners?
Allen: The city of Ocala had widespread effects from the storm during the wee morning hours. We had a number of streets close, a number of power outages, trees were down. We spent the better part of the day just cleaning up, putting barricades around the streets that are still closed. There have been some cases where houses have flooded, so we’re assisting the homeowners in addressing that. Most of the power, as we’re speaking, has been restored to all but except maybe 100 customers. That compares to maybe 1,300 as we started the business day. So crews have been out diligently to restore power. It’s sort of a moving target, though, because as they get one area back up, a tree or large limb will fall somewhere else. Our numbers have been up and down all day. They continue to work.
WUFT: How will the flooding affect the city financially?
Allen: It’s too early to tell. We won’t know that for some time.
WUFT: What exactly are you doing for the residential homes?
Allen: We have our risk management people visiting the homes. Those who might need shelter or some special assistance, we’re going to put them in contact with the appropriate agencies. On Northeast 8th Avenue and 14th Street, we have established a sandbagging operation, as well, so those who are concerned that their houses still might flood are encouraged to come by and get some sandbags. If you’re not physically capable of getting the sandbags, you can call the city at 352-351-6733, and we would be happy to assist you.
Hear the full interview above.