Osceola County held its first press conference focused on Hurricane Ian Tuesday as the storm continues to churn toward the sunshine state. The National Hurricane Center, as of its 11 am update, says the Hurricane continues to pick up intensity and has emerged into the Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 115, moving north at 10 mph, 305 miles south-southwest of Sarasota, Florida.

Osceola County Director of Emergency Management Bill Litton shared that the county will continue to distribute sandbags throughout the day across from Osceola Heritage Park, and that the City of St. Cloud has joined in the effort today by distributing sandbags at the St. Cloud Civic Center until 7pm.

Osceola County Chairman Brandon Arrington share that all schools in Osceola County would remain closed through the week, and are planning to reopen next Monday.

The county will open three shelters as of 2pm on Tuesday, Kissimmee Middle School (pet friendly), Celebration High School, and Harmony High School. For more information about the shelters go to Osceola.org.

During the press conference Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez shared that there would be no curfew placed in the county and that they had no plans on forcing people to leave their homes because of the oncoming storm. He reinforced that there would be zero tolerance for those trying to take advantage of other during the storm.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused Shingle Creek to flood displacing hundreds of senior housing residents at the Good Samaritan Society in Kissimmee. During Tuesday’s press conference, Osceola County Chairman Brandon Arrington said that the recent shoal removal in Shingle Creek should prevent the same level of flooding that took place after Hurricane Irma and that the county would monitor the area during the storm.

For more information go to Osceola.org.