Marion County residents fill sandbags ahead of Hurricane Ian

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 12:53 AM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - A line of cars wrapped around the Riley Art Centers at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, for sandbags.

“I think it’s good to know that people are taking the precautions necessary, they’re not taking things lightly,” said the City of Ocala Parks and Division Head, Bill Rodriguez.

Residents prepped their homes for Ian’s possible arrival. Tuscawilla Park is one of the nine sites for sandbag distributions in Marion County.

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“We’re calling for a lot of rain on this one and we may not get hit so hard by the wind, but the rain is going to be pretty heavy for us,” stated Rodriguez.

City workers, volunteers, and residents shoveled through the afternoon. City officials said there is a 10-bag limit per vehicle.

“A little nervous, it’s a little overwhelming, you know, natural disasters are always like that,” shared resident Patience Jackson.

Marion County Sheriff’s deputies also urged residents to prepare but not panic. Besides the sandbags, he recommended having some supplies handy.

“Make sure you got the water in which you need. Now don’t go overboard because the tendency is for a lot of people, cause we’re already beginning to see it, shelves are beginning to get empty. Don’t go overboard,” shared Sheriff Billy Woods. “Only get what you need.”

Residents said they want to make sure they are ready for potential rain and flooding in their neighborhoods.

Sheriff Woods alerts residents to not let their guard down, even post-hurricane.

“Be very leery of the fraud that is out there.,” stated Sheriff Woods. “You’ll have companies that’ll want to come in, clean up the debris in your yard, or even repair your home. Make sure they’re licensed contractors.”

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