Citrus County issues Hurricane Irma evacuations

Citrus County commissioners declared a local state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order on Friday morning. Officials said they anticipate high winds and the potential for great storm surge.

The evacuation applies to the following residents:
- Residents living west of U.S. Highway 19
- Residents living one and a half miles east of U.S. 19 (this does not include Sugarmill Woods)
- City of Crystal River residents
- Residents living in low-lying areas throughout all of Citrus County
- Residents living in mobile homes, manufactured homes, and all unsafe structures throughout the county

Officials advise you evacuate locally to a safe location or go to one of the shelters as a last resort. Also, they said to make sure you have all your important documents and papers.

The following shelters open on Friday, September 8, at 2 p.m.
- Lecanto Middle School: 3800 West Education Path in Lecanto (general population)
- Lecanto Primary School: 3790 West Educational Path in Lecanto (general population, pet-friendly shelter)
- Renaissance School: 3630 West Education Path in Lecanto (special-needs shelter)

The following shelters open on Friday, September 8, at 4 p.m.
- Central Ridge Elementary School: 185 West Citrus Springs Boulevard in Citrus Springs
- Lecanto High School: 3810 West Education Path in Lecanto
- Forest Ridge Elementary School: 2927 North Forest Ridge Boulevard in Hernando

If you're going to a shelter, county officials recommended you bring the following: a small bag with clothing, toiletries, medicine, pillow and blanket or sleeping bag. They also said to pack light with essential items since space per person is "extremely limited."

You can get more information by visiting (county site may be slow).