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Hurricane Ian knocks out power to most of Okeechobee County

Strong winds pulled down power lines, took down fences, toppled large trees
Okeechobee County Hurricane Ian storm damage, Sept. 29, 2022
Posted at 12:33 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 12:49:29-04

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — According to Florida Power and Light, the majority of customers in Okeechobee County are without power Thursday after Hurricane Ian plowed through the state.

Crews were up early clearing streets of debris.

Dave Green rode out the storm in his mobile home on the north edge of Lake Okeechobee in the Journeys End community.

"When the winds picked up, it was scary, white-knuckling," Green said. "It didn't let up [until about] 3 a.m. maybe."

Okeechobee County Hurricane Ian storm damage, Sept. 29, 2022
Multiple mobile homes in Okeechobee County were damaged by Hurricane Ian's wrath.

The strong winds pulled down power lines, took down fences and toppled large trees.

The patio roof of one home completely detached and flew over the home, then across a street, finally landing about 50 feet away.

Other mobile homes lost sunrooms while glass windows were busted by flying debris.

Maria Rodriguez, Okeechobee County resident who suffered storm damage from Hurricane Ian
Maria Rodriguez discusses storm damage to her mobile home in Okeechobee County from Hurricane Ian.

Sheds were overturned and toppled a storage business’s wall.

While cleanup is underway, residents are waiting for widespread power outages to be restored.

Resident Maria Rodriguez lost her porch during the storm and was among those without electricity.

"It looks like it's going to be in the next few days [before power is restored,]" Rodriguez said. "It's a mess around here."

At noon Thursday, Florida Power and Light's outage map said 15,270 out of 20,480 customers in Okeechobee County were without power.

The governor's office said there are currently 42,000 linemen responding to the more than two million reported power outages across the state.

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