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The Villages
Thursday, February 22, 2024

Eerie silence in The Villages as Hurricane Dorian churns in Atlantic Ocean

The Villages remained eerily silent and completely battened down as Hurricane Dorian churned in the Atlantic Ocean.

Gate arms are down at entrances and gate attendants were not at their posts as part of a precautionary measure.

Recreation centers, outdoor facilities and pools will remain closed through Tuesday. All golf courses will be closed through at least Friday. Entertainment at the town squares has been canceled through Wednesday.

There was an eerie silence at the pickleball courts in The Villages as Hurricane Dorian approached the state.

The Villages Charter School will be in session on Tuesday.

“The storm appears to be stalled and trending north,” The Villages Charter School said in a statement regarding the decision to stay open.

School has been canceled Tuesday in Lake County, including Villages Elementary in Lady Lake, and Sumter County schools other than The Villages Charter School. School has been canceled for the rest of the week in Marion County.

American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Sumter Landing Bicycle Club has canceled club rides on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wildwood City Hall will be closed Tuesday. Tuesday’s trash pickup in Wildwood has been shifted to Wednesday.

This map shows the latest projected path for Hurricane Dorian.

In Leesburg on Monday afternoon, grocery stores were packed. Bands of rain whipped shoppers as they ran to the vehicles with needed, last-minute items. And customers were hurrying to gas up at several local gas stations.

In Marion County, a shelter for special needs residents opened Monday at 2 p.m. at West Port High School. Three other shelters at Fort McCoy School, North Marion Middle School and Lake Weir High School were slated to be opened on Tuesday at noon.

Registered sex offenders were told they aren’t allowed at any of the shelters and instead are being instructed to go to the Marion County Jail Visitation Center.

Hurricane Dorian stalled over the Bahamas on Monday and was devastating the islands with heavy winds and flooding.

Marion County government offices, as well as those in Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon, will be open Tuesday and reassessed for Wednesday. Marion County Sheriff’s district offices in Salt Springs, Forest Corners, Ocklawaha and Silver Springs Shores will be closed Wednesday.

Late Monday afternoon, Dorian was reportedly stalled over the Bahamas, where the prime minister reported that at least five people have died. The hurricane, now a Category 4, was causing terror, destruction and mass flooding on the islands with 145 mph winds.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Dorian was located about 105 miles west of West Palm Beach. The storm was expected to start a slow west to westward motion sometime overnight and into early Tuesday morning as the eye and high winds finally pull away from the Bahamas.

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians to guard against ‘storm fatigue’ and pay attention to updated forecasts, alerts, warnings and possible evacuation orders connected to Hurricane Dorian.

The latest update has Dorian moving a slight further to the east, but Central Florida residents are being urged to stay vigilant, as the storm is forecast to be east of Central Florida sometime Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the speed it gains in the open Atlantic waters. By that time, it is projected to be a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, which means some areas of Central Florida may feel tropical storm-force winds.

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians to guard against “storm fatigue” and pay attention to updated forecasts, alerts, warnings and possible evacuation orders.

“This has been frustrating, I know, for a lot of people because it seems like we’ve been talking about this a long time,” the governor said. “But we are in a situation where the storm is stalling very close to our coast. It is going to make a move, and the movement that it makes is going to have a lot of impacts on Floridians.”

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