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New sandbag machine available to use in Seminole County

Aug 16, 2023

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So many people had flooding issues during the storms a year ago, knowing full well now what sandbag protection they need.

Oviedo is rolling out a brand-new sandbag-filling machine. The sandbags will be filled, sealed, and sent home with those who need them.

In Sanford, a mom was helping out her daughter, who purchased a home where the neighborhood flooded during Ian last year.

"A little low lying, and the retention ponds there flooded homes on that street last year,” Denise Torres said.

Several inches of water got into Kevin Howell’s house a year ago and had him seeking sandbags.

“Last year, we had a flood due to a storm drain backup, so all my exterior doors, I'm going to sandbag,” Howell said.

Seminole County knew how many people faced flooding issues during Ian, which is why sandbag locations opened first thing Saturday.

Alan Harris is the Seminole County director of emergency management.

"Over 8,500 sandbags went out over the weekend, so clearly, people were very interested in being prepared,” Harris said.

The Emergency Operations Center opened with key personnel while hoping this storm would stay on its forecasted track.

"We are not currently in the direct path of the storm, in fact, we're a little bit away from the storm, but any shift in the cone could bring it closer to us and we could experience some stronger winds,” Harris said.

Harris doesn't think any shelters will open, but they are prepared if anything changes.

"We have some on standby. They are prepared to open. We actually loaded equipment today in case we needed to open shelters,” Harris said. As for schools and garbage collection, there are no changes yet. WESH will continue to monitor that.