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Evacuations issued in Osceola County as flood waters continue to rise

More flooding is expected in Osceola county and county leaders are issuing some evacuation orders. Photo: Kissimmee Police Department.
More flooding is expected in Osceola county and county leaders are issuing some evacuation orders. Photo: Kissimmee Police Department.

Osceola county continues to see historic levels of flooding days after Hurricane Ian moved through the region, and those waters are expected to continue to rise in some areas for the next four days.

Shingle Creek, portions of Buenaventura Lakes, Pebble, Point and other low-lying and flood-prones areas like parts of Poinciana are considered "extreme flooding areas" by county officials.

The city of Kissimmee has issued a voluntary evacuation for Shingle Creek Reserve at the Oaks due to rising waters. On Friday, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for Good Samaritan Village. In a Tweet, the city says there should be no wake when evacuating and if residents need assistance they should dial 911.

Water continues to flow into Osceola County from neighboring Orange county along Shingle, Boggy and Reedy Creek.

"We're estimating East Lake Toho and Lake Toho water levels could rise another two feet and will not crest for another four days," said Osceola county commission chair Brandon Arrington.

Sandbag operation will resume Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the St. Cloud Civic Center and Osceola Heritage Park. Osceola's recover center will open at 12:00 p.m. Saturday at the Kissimmee Civic Center and will serve as a shelter.

"Hurricane Ian brought historic amounts of rain to northern Osceola county and overwhelmed local drainage systems," said Sean Cooley of the South Florida Water Management District. "The South Florida Water Management District is working around the clock to move water through the interconnected Kissimmee Chain of Lakes system."

Anticipating rising lake levels, the South Florida Water Management District deployed temporary pumps and opnending structures to drain the lakes as quickly as possible. The U.S Corps of Engineers has been deployed to the county to help pump water from some of the hardest hit areas.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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