Oct. 06--(Updated at 5:15 p.m.)
Marion County Emergency Management officials will open two additional shelters at 6 p.m. today.
* Special needs and general population shelter: Belleview Middle School, 10500 SE 36th Ave., Belleview.
Call the Citizen Information Line at 352-369-7500 if you need help to arrange transportation.
No pets. Special needs people with pets can have Animal Services provide transportation for pets to Marion County Animal Services to shelter during the storm. For special needs individuals, please bring any special needs supplies, equipment, medications or food that you need.
* General population and pet friendly: Vanguard High School, 7 NW 28th St., Ocala.
Bring pet's food, proof of updated vaccination information and necessary supplies. Pets also must be kept in cages. Non-special needs pet owners must stay at Vanguard High's pet-friendly shelter with their pets. They cannot drop off their pets and supplies at the shelter.
* The Sheriff's Office Multi-purpose Room, 692 NW 30th Ave., will also be open only as a shelter for the general population during the storm. This is not a special needs shelter and will not be accepting house pets. It will be open at noon today.
The Star-Banner is trying to keep track of all storm-related closings, but it's best if you call ahead or otherwise check before going to a scheduled event or gathering. We will try to list all major closings here.
+The Star-Banner offices will be closed Friday. Call 671-6412 or 867-4121 with news tips and damage reports.
+ The Marion County Judicial Center will be closed Friday.
+ Marion County public schools will be closed Friday. Evening activities are cancelled for Thursday and Friday.
+ The College of Central Florida cancelled classes and closed offices at 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The closing is for Ocala Campus, Citrus Campus, Hampton Center, Levy Center, Levy Campus, Appleton Museum of Art, as well as online classes.
CF classes and business operations are set to resume Monday
+ Rasmussen College campuses in Ocala will be closed Friday.
+ Community Bank & Trust of Florida will be closed Friday
+ Gateway Bank closed Friday
+ The Paddock Mall in Ocala closed at 5 p.m. Thursday and will remain closed Friday. It may re-open on Saturday, weather permitting.
+ Silver Springs State Park and the Marjorie Harris Carr Greenway are closed until further notice
+ Cities of Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon and Marion County government will be closed Friday
+ Marion County Animal Center closed Friday
+ Libraries: All Marion County Public Library System locations, and Silver Springs Shores Community Center, closed Friday
+ Sanitation services: City of Ocala commercial sanitation services delayed through Saturday; Florida Express Environmental: All services delayed through Tuesday.
+ Garth Brooks: The concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Amway Center in Orlando has been rescheduled to Sunday (Oct. 9) at 3 p.m. All tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Thursday show will be good for the new date/time.
+ "An Evening With Patsy Cline," originally scheduled for Thursday, has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Reilly Arts Center.
+ "Seriously Frank" performances at Ocala Civic Theatre have been cancelled for tonight and Friday. Saturday and Sunday shows are still scheduled at this point.
+ The "Be the Dinosaur" exhibit at the Discovery Center in Ocala, originally scheduled to open Friday, will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
+ Quilt show: The Anthony Quilt n' Go Club's show scheduled for Friday and Saturday has been called off. No reschedule date yet.
+ The First Congregational Church yard sale slated for Saturday in Ocala has been cancelled.
+ Oktoberfest, scheduled for Saturday at Ocala's Tuscawilla Park, has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15. It will run in conjunction with Shakespeare in the Park.
+ The Ocala Cultural Festival originally scheduled for Saturday in downtown Ocala has been cancelled.
+ The Best of John Fogerty concert, scheduled for Saturday night at the Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsdale, has been rescheduled for Friday night, Oct. 14 at the opry. All other events at the opry this weekend have been cancelled.
City of Ocala
The city's business offices will be closed Friday. Business offices will re-open Monday.
Also closed on Friday: all city recreation and senior centers, city parks, the Discovery Center, the City Municipal Services Complex including City Hall and the Citizen Service Center.
Friday's commercial sanitation routes are cancelled. Friday's routes will be collected Saturday, weather and conditions permitting.
The Ocala/One America Variety Show at the Reilly Arts Center and the Discovery Center's Be the Dinosaur Exhibit
However, events scheduled for Thursday and Friday have changed as follows:
+ The One Ocala/One America KIDS event at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Center originally scheduled for Thursday will instead be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20.
+ First Friday Art Walk Downtown has been cancelled; the next one will be Nov. 4.
+ The After Dark in the Park: Freaky Friday Movies will be cancelled this week; the series will continue at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Jervey Gantt Park.
+ The Ocala Housing Authority office closed at 3 p.m. Thursday and will remain closed Friday.
The VA health operations in Ocala will be closed on Friday. Patients are being contacted by staff to reschedule appointments. If veterans have a medical emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. For after hours and weekends, call VISN 8 Telecare toll free at 1-877-741-3400 for additional information.
Updated information will be provided on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/VANFSG) or 1-800-308-8387, ext. 2915.
Because of the storm, the website has activated its Gasoline Availability Tracker: http://tracker.GasBuddy.com/.
The SunTran bus system will not operate on Friday. Service will resume on Saturday.
More information and updates: www.ocalafl.org. For real time updates on storm preparations, follow the City of Ocala on Facebook and Twitter @cityofocalafl.
A message from Ocala Electric Utility
+ To report a power outage to OEU, call 352-351-6666 or download the myusage.com mobile application.
+ Do not report an outage more than once.
+ If your power is restored while crews are still working in the area, leave a light on so they will see you have power
+ View a real-time map of current outages at http://outages.ocalafl.org.
+ For additional information on outages visit poweroutage.ocalafl.org.
+ A severe weather guide and preparedness checklist is available at http://severeweather.ocalafl.org
A message from the state chief financial officer:
--Be sure you know what your deductible is for hurricane losses. Most policies now have a hurricane deductible of 2 to 5 percent of a home's insured value. If your property is damaged, you will be responsible for a portion of the repair costs.
--Inventory your household items, including receipts, purchase dates, and serial numbers. Photograph or videotape your possessions. Keep copies of this information and your insurance policies in a safe place and keep the originals in a safe deposit box.
--Write down the name, address, and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurance company, which may differ from your agent's contact information. Keep this information in a safe place and make sure you have access to it if you are forced to evacuate your home.
--When a hurricane threatens, take action to protect your property. Buy the materials you need to secure your property and minimize your losses. Cover your windows with shutters, siding, or plywood. Move vehicles into a garage or carport when possible. Grills, patio furniture and other outdoors items that could become projectiles with strong winds should be moved inside.
More information: 1-877-693-5236 and http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/Consumers/Storm.
Tips on staying connected
This comes from AT&T:
+ Keep your mobile phone battery charged. In case of a power outage, have another way to charge your phone like an extra battery, car charger or device-charging accessory.
+ Keep your mobile devices dry. The biggest threat to your device during a hurricane is water. Keep it safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering, like an Otterbox.
+ Have a family communications plan. Choose someone out of the area as a central contact. Make sure all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.
+ Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
Ocala National Forest
From the Forest Service:
"All recreation sites and the Florida National Scenic Trail in the Ocala National Forest and the Osceola National Forest will be closed at 3 p.m. Thursday.
"Sometime today, all forest visitors currently in the forests will be contacted and advised to evacuate. The sites will reopen for operations upon completion of a post-storm assessment of the site and facilities, and identified hazards are mitigated.
"We ask those traveling in and around the forests to pay attention to advisories and we appreciate patience as we prepare for the storm passing through the area."
For more information: www.fs.usda.gov/florida/
Sandbags for Ocala residents
In preparation for Hurricane Matthew, the City of Ocala has two sandbag stations open today from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
+ Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Complex, which is located on Northwest Fourth Street just off State Road 40, also known as Silver Springs Boulevard.
+ Tuscawilla Park pavilion off Northeast Watula Avenue. Staff recommends approaching the sandbag station in Tuscawilla Park from the south to allow for a more efficient traffic flow.
Note: Sandbags are provided to city residents at no charge. Limit is 10 per household.
Sandbags for Marion County residents
The Sheriff's Office has announced four sandbag locations. They are mostly self-serve, but people who need help can go to the front desk at the district offices during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The locations are:
+ North Multi District Office, 8311 N. U.S. 441, Ocala.
+ South Multi District Office, 3260 SE 80th St., Ocala.
+ Forest District Office, 1600 E. State Road 40, Silver Springs.
+ Dunnellon District Office, 19995 SW 86th St., Unit 3, Dunnellon.
Marion County Emergency Management has activated its storm information line. Call 369-7500.
To report road flooding:
Marion County: 671-8686
City of Belleview: 245-7021
City of Dunnellon: 465-8590
City of Ocala: 629-CITY (2489)
For non-emergency police assistance:
Marion County Sheriff's Office: 732-9111.
Belleview Police Department: daytime, 245-7044; nights, 732-9111.
Dunnellon Police Department: 465-8510.
Ocala Police Department: 369-7070.
American Red Cross: 352-376-4669.
Salvation Army: 732-8326.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY for hearing-impaired)
For social service assistance: 211 (United Way help line.)
In case of power outages:
City of Ocala: 351-6666
Duke Energy: 1-800-228-8485
Withlacoochee River Electric: 795-4382
Clay Electric Cooperative: 1-888-434-9844
+ Florida Division of Emergency Management: www.floridadisaster.org.
+ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: www.noaa.gov.
+ National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov.
+ Florida Department of Financial Services: www.myfloridacfo.com.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and OneBlood issued appeals for donors.
Call 1-888-795-2707 for LifeSouth. OneBlood's number is 1-888-936-6283.
(c)2016 the Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, Fla.)
Visit the Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, Fla.) at www.ocala.com
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