LEON COUNTY, Fla. — While Leon County is inland, we know the impacts from the storm could still be felt in Tallahassee. So, local county and city leaders are working together to protect communities ahead of the storm.
Right now, the city and county leaders have one message as we wait to see what impacts Ian will have locally—telling everyone let's get through this together.
"We do need to be prepared for the impacts of high winds," said Kevin Peters.
As the Director of Emergency management for Leon County, Kevin Peters knows a thing or two when it comes to dealing with dangerous weather conditions in the Big Bend. He and other county and city leaders know how important it is to have a plan and that's exactly what they've come up with.
Right now, 11 self-serve sandbag locations are open for families to fill up to protect their homes from flooding. For those who could have to evacuate, the county plans to open middle and high schools for shelters later this week. StarMetro will continue to run to provide people with transportation to those locations.
Helping address some of the big problems Peters has seen with other storms. "We've seen this during previous storms, previous hurricanes, where we have high wind impacts to trees and a lot of tree debris and power outages. We also need to keep on watch for the potential for heavy rainfall," said Peters.
The City of Tallahassee is the largest utility provider in the panhandle. Mayor John Dailey said crews are currently clearing debris and checking infrastructure.
Dailey said assets are being placed around the City to help assess power outages and damage after the storm come through. "We begin restoration immediately. So you'll have great men and women, first responders, utility, all the different utilities out there to try to restore power and get the community back together," said Dailey.
Talquin Electric Cooperative serves about 27,000 people in the county. Samantha Jessee said while they aren't officially in storm mode yet, all crews are on standby to better protect you after the storm. "Making sure that post storm, should it hit, you're staying off the roads, you're clearing the way for us to come out and restore power and get to the places that we need to go," said Jessee.
A big question for people, will Leon County schools close. Right now, the district says it's too early to tell. There will be school on Tuesday.