SEBRING — Residents on Lakeview Drive between Scenic Highway and Sandra Boulevard woke to a small version of the lake in their yards.
Flood waters extended from Lakeview to, at one point, the middle of Sebring Parkway, making passage difficult for motorists on both thoroughfares. Residents were seen either scooping debris from the water, preparing to evacuate or, as in one case, sitting on the porch watching the cleanup.
Out in the lake, several docks that usually sit low to the water were submerged and, in some cases, listing into the water.
Gloria Rybinski, public information officer for the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, said Monday afternoon that emergency responders were still assessing the damage in that area.
Motorists contending with water over the road also had to slow for a low power line just north of Bayview Drive. Taller vehicles heading south had to stop and wait for oncoming traffic to pass before inching past the low-slung lines. Those who left Lakeview on Bayview for U.S. 27 found power poles knocked over in front of the Sebring WalMart.
They also found water flooding the Lakeview Mobile Village retirement community, especially on the west end, near the highway.
Overnight, during the storm, a fire sparked at the Heartland Bowl bowling alley north of Sebring on U.S. 27. Scott Dressel, public information officer for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, said the call came in at 10:37 p.m. but it was after 7 a.m. before anyone could get to it because of wind conditions.
The cause is still under investigation.
Among the biggest warnings given via text alerts to residents on Monday included notices of downed live power lines throughout the county. Public information professionals at the Emergency Operations Center also warned people to stay home before 11 a.m. when a curfew was still in effect.
Mainly because of the downed power lines, the county has continued the evening curfew, which was imposed during the storm, from 8:30 p.m. Monday until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Rybinski said.