Taylor County residents weigh their options following Voluntary Evacuation Order
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of Tuesday evening, at least nine counties along the Florida’s Gulf Coast have mandatory evacuations as hurricane Ian continues to threaten Florida.
Here locally, a Voluntary Evacuation Order is now in place for low lying areas of Taylor County. The order left residents to decide how to prepare for the storm.
While Taylor County residents say they understand the type of damage a storm like Ian inflict on their area, as of Tuesday evening most say they don’t feel it’s a big enough threat to evacuate.
Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett called a Voluntary Evacuation Order into place for low-laying, flood prone areas, and while some visitors packed up to leave Monday, others felt Taylor County was the safer option.
Ursula miller, cedar island resident
“Even though the storm is not hitting there, the surge is going to be pretty bad in my opinion,” shared Cedar Key resident Ursula Miller. “We have been packing up for two to three days and we brought one load down here and tomorrow will be our final move to Steinhatchee.”
Miller and her husband relocated from Cedar Key, Florida and says she’s praying for those who may be Ian’s path.
“In my heart I hope it does not damage us but there’s other people involved and I feel bad for them,” said Miller.
For South Dakota native Scott Vincent, the lurking Ian was a sign for him to get out of dodge.
“This is my first time around. I’ve been through twisters and tornadoes and stuff and to me this is just one of those things that happens. It’s mother nature and you got to go with the flow,” explained Vincent.
Vincent says he and his wife have lived in Steinhatcheee since April, and says they’re now moving to Houston ahead of this storm. That decision came as a relief for his worried family.
“All my relatives up there are worried about me right now and I said I’ll be alright, shared Miller. “I got good people watching me and I got the lord on my side.”
Although she’s staying in town, Miller says she believes the voluntary evacuation order was good idea due to the area’s history of flooding.
“Down here in Steinhatchee, they’ve had drainage issues and the whole county has had drainage issues,” broke down Miller. “Taylor County is over 60% in the flood zone so we’re destined to flood regardless if it’s rain or if there’s a storm coming in.”
For those residents who do plan on sticking around, they say they will be paying close attention to the weather forecasts to ensure nothing changes over the next few days.
Schools in Taylor County are closed for the rest of the week and County officials say starting Wednesday at 8 am they’ll open a pet friendly general population shelter at Taylor County Elementary School.
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