Marion County braces for Irma's impact

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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - As Irma rips through South Florida, North Central Florida braces for impact. Marion County is one of the counties under Tornado Warning until midnight.

County officials said they are expecting more than 10 inches of rain in the area. Wind gusts could be as high as 100 miles per hour in parts of the county starting early Monday morning.

Sheriff Billy Woods of MCSO said, "Power will be out and there will be trees going down all over the place. Now if the trees go down, and if it damages the homes thats obviously part of it, along with vehicles as well."

Marion County is prepared for the worst. County Commissioner Cathy Bryant said, "The wind speeds in the western part of the county, especially in our southwest communities such as Dunnellon. The State Road 200 corridor, and Rainbow Lakes Estates could potentially reach Category 2 level."

They are asking everyone to stay cautious, get off the roads and get to shelter, but there is no mandatory curfew.

"We are the high ground and we are the lighthouse for everyone," said Sheriff Woods. "They've been coming from the east and they've been coming from the west, We will stay open for every one of them."

Emergency officials are saying some people living in mobile homes, against suggestion, are not leaving.

"Everybody is standing by and ready so that when this storm is done, we are here for them," said Sheriff Woods.

Ocala city leaders and Marion County officials are working on clean up preparations.