Osceola County declared a mandatory evacuation for Good Samaritan Village Friday afternoon after it was clear that residents refusing to leave the community were putting themselves and their potential rescuers at risk.

“After consulting with our experts in law enforcement, water management and fire rescue, it was clear that we take action to evacuate the Good Samaritan community. Shingle Creek is at a historically high level and it is only going to rise. Giving our first-responders the ability to get these few residents out of harm’s way was imperative. This will allow us to focus on our recovery efforts moving forward and keep as many people safe as possible,” Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington said.

A day after Hurricane Ian passed through Florida, Osceola County communities such as Good Samaritan Village were still dealing with rising flood waters after at least 14 inches of rain fell across the County. Other areas of concern include Buenaventura Lakes, Pebble Point, Poinciana, Indian Wells and Kings Highway.

The City of Kissimmee canceled its curfew. In other areas, water was receding – even as residents were able to begin the recovery process by registering for federal assistance. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov to apply today if you need home repairs or have other property damages. Residents could qualify for $37,900 for repairs.

Officials said that flood concerns would remain top of mind due to the persistent flow of water along Shingle, Boggy and Reedy creeks that flows south from Orange County. Thursday there were more than 300 people rescued by Osceola County Fire Rescue and the City of Kissimmee. This number does NOT include the Sheriff’s Office operations.

The School District of Osceola County announced schools would remain closed on Monday.

Residents and visitors are urged to avoid venturing onto flooded roadways – many of which are still impassable. The County continues to update a map of road closures at www.osceola.org. SunRail suffered major damage due to the storm. Service in Osceola will be suspended for at least the next several weeks as they work on repairs

Floodwater also poses health risks and people should avoid playing, swimming or standing in it.

LYNX fixed route service will begin using a Sunday/Holiday schedule through the weekend. Please visit www.golynx.com  additional information.

Toho Water Authority crews continue to assess impacted areas, and at this time no water service outages have been reported and no precautionary boil water advisories have been issued.

Local power companies also continue to assess the power outage situations. It is estimated there are about 5,600 households in the County without power. Everyone is reminded to never touch a downed power line or wire. Instead, they should report the fallen line to their utility company.

You can always dial 9-1-1 for an emergency, or if you have any other concern, call the CIC at 407-742-0000.

Osceola’s residential garbage and recycling collection resumed Friday. In an effort to utilize all collection vehicles to recover outstanding garbage and recycling from Thursday and Friday, and resume normal operations next week, yard waste and bulk collection will be suspended for the remainder of this week.

Thursday’s garbage and recycling was being picked up Friday. And Friday’s regularly scheduled pick-ups will happen on Saturday.

Again, make up services are only for garbage and recycling carts ONLY.  No bulk items or yard waste will be recovered.

The City of Kissimmee will resume solid waste services next week. Debris removal operations for flooded areas within the city will have priority. Costs for debris and bulk pick-up have been waived for City of Kissimmee residents at this time.

The Kissimmee permitting office will open on Monday. Permit fees for recovery efforts will be waived until further notice.

For St. Cloud residents solid Waste crews were out Friday and again Saturday with the clam truck to pick up tree debris from Hurricane Ian. The St. Cloud Transfer Station was also opened Friday and again Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular residential curbside collection schedules will resume on Monday.

Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud and School District offices will all reopen on Monday.

The only shelter open in Osceola right now is at St. Cloud High School. There are less than 100 people there.

PHOTO SOURCE: Osceola Airboat Association