Now that Hurricane Irma has past us, it’s time for cleanup, restoration and community togetherness as we come together in moving forward safely and wisely. The following information is based on a press release from Osceola County.

Osceola County always monitors water levels, especially during storm events such as Hurricane Irma, including Shingle Creek. As part of the system that is the headwaters of the Everglades, the flow from Shingle Creek collects water from a large area. As a result of the storm and previous rain, Shingle Creek is at historic levels and as a result, the county advised people at risk to flooding along the creek to re-locate, as the water is expect to continue to rise.

Monday night, Osceola County Fire Rescue assisted in the relocation of about 30 residents of the Good Samaritan Village.

This morning as the water continued to rise and posed a threat to residents, the county consulted with administrators of the retirement community and enacted a plan to move residents to a shelter set up at Osceola Heritage Park.

While some residents did not want to leave their homes, the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Rescue strongly advised them to do so. So far 60 people have been transported to OHP and another 30 to Barney Veal.

Those who had existing medical conditions were either shifted to alternative Good Samaritan facilities or taken to the County’s Special Needs Shelter at the Barney Veal Center. LYNX, the School District and the City of Kissimmee are providing buses for the transportation.

Government office closings: Offices for Osceola County, the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud will open on Wednesday. Schools will be closed Wednesday. Employees should check with supervisors or follow human resource procedures to see if they are needed to report for storm-related duties.

Residents are reminded that 911 is only for emergencies. Residents can call 407-742-0000 for non-emergency issues.

Initial impact assessment: City and County teams continue assessing damage as part of the reporting process to FEMA and the State of Florida.

This is important as the entire State of Florida was declared a disaster area. And while all of Florida is currently eligible for federal Public Assistance, which is available to local governments and certain non-profit organizations (Declaration # FEMA-4337-DR), only residents in a portion of the State are currently eligible for federal Individual Assistance, which is a result of a direct order issued by the POTUS. (Declaration # FEMA-4337-DR)

The information collected by teams from the county, cities and the Property Appraiser will be transmitted to state and federal authorities in efforts to make federal Individual Assistance available for Osceola County residents.
In the meantime, individuals may continue to apply for assistance directly to FEMA through its website, or by calling 800-621-3362..

Power: Power companies have started restoration of service for less than 40,000 residents and businesses left without power.

Reminder: When power is out, treat intersections as 4-way stops.

Hurricane Debris: Hurricane debris should be placed as close to the Right-Of-Way as possible, but not on the ROW. If you live in a gated (private) neighborhood, you must place the debris outside the neighborhood gates/walls — as near to the ROW as possible.

Please be aware that Hurricane debris will be collected by a different contractor. Schedules have not been determined.

How to place Hurricane Debris By The Curb

Hurricane debris includes:
Vegetative waste includes trees, logs, limbs, grass, twigs, etc. Do NOT place leaves in plastic bags.
Construction Debris includes roofing materials, siding, carpet, furniture, lumber, plumbing, appliances, etc.

The following guidelines apply:

Separate tree debris from construction debris.
Debris should be placed as close to the road as possible, but not on the road.
Be sure hurricane debris is placed separately from regular household waste and recycling materials.
Do not place any debris or garbage by mailboxes.

Please be patient as these contractors work to have materials picked up as soon as possible.

Flooding: Officials are analyzing water levels and the potential for related flood. Shingle Creek nearly surpassed its historical high mark of 61.5 feet during the storm but water was flowing rapidly and the level was decreasing.

Area of concerns for flooding included Buenaventura Lakes, the Good Samaritan Village and Sherwood Forest community, as well as Mill Slough in Kissimmee.