Orange County “currently has 45,000 pre-filled sandbags and expects to distribute more than 70,000 to residents,” the mayor announced on September 7.
Hurricane Irma continues to imperil Florida, and hurricane conditions are now listed as possible for the Orlando area on Sunday and Sunday night in the September 7 forecast from the National Weather Service.
The county was reporting extremely high demand for the sandbags. “Due to the extreme high demand at several Orange County sandbag distribution locations, cars currently waiting to be served might not reach the service point by 7 p.m. today,” the county announced on Facebook at 3:30 p.m. on September 7. “Beginning at 3:30 p.m., we will be asking those who have not yet joined the line to return in the morning. Our intention is to serve all residents by our closing hour of 7 p.m. in an efficient manner for efficient traffic flow and service. Our distribution locations will reopen on Friday, September 8, 2017.”
There were no mandatory evacuation orders for Orange County and Orlando on September 7, although that information is date and time sensitive and could always change.
Here is a map of the 2017 Orange County, Florida sandbag distribution locations.
The mayor wrote on Facebook: “Sandbag distribution will take place on Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. -7 p.m. while supplies last. Due to high demand, Orange County residents will need to present proof of residency. Residents may collect up to 10 sandbags per vehicle.”
On September 7, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs issued “a local state of emergency to prepare for possible threats associated with Hurricane Irma. This declaration is a pro-active emergency management protocol.”
“As Mayor, my top priority is the health, safety and welfare of our residents, guests and businesses,” Jacobs said. “It is urgent that we receive the full cooperation of the people of Orange County in preparing for possible affects from Hurricane Irma. As a region, we are deeply aware of the threats posed by the weather, and must be well prepared for weather emergencies. Through the issuance of Emergency Executive Order 17-09, I am authorizing the full use of Orange County’s public safety resources to assist in preparing for impacts from Hurricane Irma.”
The hurricane’s path remains unpredictable, although recent models have shown it shifting eastward.
The National Weather Service’s hazardous weather outlook for Hurricane Irma and Orlando said on September 7: “Major Hurricane Irma is forecast to move west-northwest into the eastern Florida Straits on Saturday, then turn north and make its closest approach to central Florida, through Sunday night or early Monday. While it is still too early to be specific about direct impacts that Irma will have on east central Florida, deteriorating weather conditions, with increasing winds and widespread rain and squalls, are likely, and boating and surf conditions are expected to become quite dangerous by this weekend.”