© 2024 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Orange County helps 1,700 people evacuate after flooding from Hurricane Ian

Orange County firefighters rescued residents of Avante of Orlando on Thursday. Image: OCFR via Facebook
Orange County firefighters rescued residents of Avante of Orlando on Thursday. Image: OCFR via Facebook

Orange County reports that the county has evacuated 1,700 people from Hurriance Ian's flood waters.

The flooding has also affected Riverdale Elementary School in Orlando, and the district is reviewing its options.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said that Thursday night firefighters and members of the National Guard evacuated a flooded assisted living facility on Rouse Road.

The rescuers used high-water vehicles to remove 120 residents of the Life Care Center of Orlando. The evacuees were taken to a sister facility.

"That was a significant mission for our firefighters and the National Guard last night," Demings said a press conference Friday. "So let me just say to the National Guardsmen, Thank you for your assistance here within our community."

He said crews have made rescues in the Orla Vista area, the Bonnie Brook and Cypress Landing neighborhoods, Hampton Court apartments, Oak Crest Community, and Avante at Orlando, a skilled nursing facility.

Orange County officials said that so far 1,696 people have been evacuated.

Riverdale Elementary

Orange County Public Schools spokesman Scott Howat said the district is assessing damage to properties though the county before deciding whether schools can open on Monday.

He said parents would be updated through phone, email and text messaging Friday evening.

"As of now we're seeing major flooding issues at one of our schools, at Riverdale Elementary, which we've been talking about this morning and what options we will have for the students and family and employees at Riverdale," he said.

Howat said that, if necessary, the district will look at options like alternative locations and, possibly, virtual learning. But the district has not received information from the state about that.

Howat said that Orange County students who were going to take the SAT on Saturday are "off the hook." That test will have to be rescheduled.


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.