Warning issued for SR 200 area

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Travel restrictions

Due to recent weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service, officials with the Marion County Division of Emergency Management have developed great concern for the area of southwest Marion County during Hurricane Irma. The National Weather Service is expecting the areas of Dunnellon, Rainbow Lakes Estates and the State Road 200 corridor to experience hurricane force winds that could reach up to 110 mph beginning Sunday morning. Residents in those areas are strongly encouraged to seek safe shelter with family or friends, or at one of our designated shelters in Marion County. There is still a mandatory evacuation order in place for all Marion County residents living in mobile or modular type-homes. Emergency Management officials urge those living in these type homes to be evacuated by 8:00 p.m., on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

The following shelters are open in Marion County in preparation for Hurricane Irma:
General Population Shelters:
North Marion Middle School (2085 W Highway 329, Citra)
Fort McCoy School (16160 NE Highway 315, Fort McCoy)
Lake Weir High School (10351 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala)
Forest High School (5000 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala)
Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary (4397 SW 95th Street, Ocala)
Belleview Middle School (10500 SE 36th Avenue, Belleview)
Madison Street Academy (401 NW Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Ocala)
Dunnellon High School (10055 SW 180th Avenue Road, Dunnellon, Opening at 1:00 p.m. Saturday)

Special Needs Shelters:
Belleview High School (10400 SE 36th Avenue, Belleview - Special Needs ONLY)
West Port High School (3733 SW 80th Avenue, Ocala- Also a general population shelter)

Pet-Friendly Shelter:
Vanguard High School (7 NW 28th Street, Ocala)

West Port High School can no longer accept electric dependent special needs individuals. Electric dependent individuals should go to Belleview High School instead so their need s can be accommodated.

Special needs individuals can contact the Citizens Information Line at 352-369-7500 to arrange transportation to a shelter, if necessary. If sex offenders or sex predators need to evacuate, they are encouraged to first seek shelter with family or friends, in a non-residency restricted area. If that is not an option, they must report to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender /Predator Unit office for shelter. There will be law enforcement presence at all shelters for extra security. Shelters will remain open for intake until the weather worsens and winds exceed 35-40 mph.


Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods is strongly encouraging all residents to restrict travel on our roadways beginning at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, September 10, 2017, due to the potential for high winds. If winds exceed 45 mph, first responders will not be permitted to use their vehicles to answer calls for service.

Residents will also not be permitted to travel on certain bridges if high winds occur. The State Road 40 and the County Road 316 bridges over the Ocklawaha River will be closed to traffic if winds sustain 35 mph. In case of emergency travel, Sharpes Ferry Road may be used as an alternative route if the aforementioned bridges close.

Sheriff Woods is asking residents to stay tuned to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and website, www.marionso.com, for further updates on future travel advisories/restrictions, and for critical updates regarding Hurricane Irma. Citizens can call our Information Line at 352-369-7500 for any questions or concerns about the storm. If Marion County citizens would like to receive emergency weather notifications through Alert Marion, they can visit www.alertmarion.com to sign up.