CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Citrus County officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation for Zone A.

All other areas are advised to voluntary evacuate, especially those citizens living in mobile homes, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles throughout the county.

In Homosassa, Brent Strange was among many pulling his boat out of the river to move it to safer ground.

“I’m pulling the boat out, taking everything off the dock and being prepared. We went through Hurricane Hermine, we were surrounded by water for three days and so we saw how bad it got for that and we hope it’s not any worse than Hermine,” said Strange.

He says he started to pay close attention to the storm as it strengthened.

“That’s when I started getting worried. If it was just a one, I thought it wouldn’t be too bad, but with the high tide, we’ll have the second highest tide of the year and so we have to be prepared for the high tide and the storm surge,” said Strange.

Mike Kobel works in the area and is also concerned about the potential for storm surge in his community.

“For the first time in quite a while, I have a lot people who are legitimately nervous about this storm,” said Kobel.

He spent much of his day at MacRae’s preparing for the approaching system.

“Today, we’ve just been wrapping up everything around here, take all of the chairs aside, take all of the coolers out of the bar, we’ve actually removed all of the refrigerators and stoves out of the rooms that are low lying,” said Kobel.

He’s also worried about his own home that’s a short distance away.

“We weren’t even worried about it, figured it was just another storm, a good time, we’d get some flooding down here. But now, like I live right up the road about 0.8 miles up the road, and my house has never been flooded, but I’m pulling everything out when I get done down here,” said Kobel.

Citrus County has opened a number of emergency shelters for people who are forced to evacuate.

The shelters are open and located at:

  • Central Ridge Elementary, 185 West Citrus Springs Boulevard in Citrus Springs
  • Citrus High School, 600 West Highland Boulevard in Inverness
  • Citrus Springs Middle School, 150 West Citrus Springs Boulevard in Citrus Springs (General Population)
  • Forest Ridge Elementary, 2927 North Forest Ridge Boulevard in Hernando (Special Needs)
  • Renaissance Center, 3630 West Educational Path in Lecanto (Pet-Friendly)
  • College of Central Florida, 3800 South Lecanto Highway in Lecanto (Shelter of Last Resort)
  • Lecanto Primary, 3790 West Educational Path in Lecanto (Pet Friendly)