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Eta update: Sighs of relief in Sumter, Lake and Marion counties

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As Tropical Storm Eta leaves Florida, new trouble is brewing in the Caribbean Sea. Image: NHC

As Tropical Storm Eta heads off to possibly plague Georgia and the Carolinas with heavy rain, government officials in Sumter, Lake and Marion counties are relieved to see little damage from the storm.

It raced through the area this morning with high winds and gusts in the 40 mph range.

Damage was light in Sumter County. The biggest issue was trees on lines causing power outages. A little more than a thousand customers were affected.

In Lake, more than 3,000 customers lost power and a tree fell on a home in Lady Lake. 

In Marion, more than 2,000 customers temporarily lost electricity and a tree fell on a house in Belleview.

Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Paul Bloom says the storm turned quickly, but the emergency management team was ready.

“Here in November we’re looking at Thanksgiving,” Bloom said. “You can go into stores and find hurricane supplies right next to Christmas decorations, because it’s just been that kind of crazy year. So, here we are, but overall I think we did pretty well.”

Meanwhile, down south in the Caribbean Sea a tropical wave has an 80 percent chance of developing in the next 48 hours.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


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.