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News Story
Updated: 09/12/2017 08:30:00AM

Irma leaves Lakeview Drive flooded

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PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

A tangled, mangled live oak lies over the sidewalk along the north end of Lake Jackson near Ben Eastman Road. By Monday afternoon, when this photo was taken, the tree had already been trimmed of the branches that were blocking the road.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

A man rides his bike Monday afternoon from Lakeview Drive to Sandra Boulevard in Sebring. Flood waters covered the residential roads and stretched, at one point, over the two eastbound lanes of Sebring Parkway.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Flood water fills the front yard of a home on the north end of the Lake Jackson cove in Sebring. Hurricane Irma left homes flooded and Lakeview Drive barely passable in places.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

A man scoops debris from floodwaters Monday afternoon on the north end of the Lake Jackson cove. Flood waters left by Hurricane Irma swamped homes between Scenic Highway and Sandra Boulevard.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

A dock on Lakeview Drive, near Scenic Highway, lists into the Lake Jackson cove the morning after Hurricane Irma lashed Highlands County. It was one of several either with theirr decks submerged or badly shattered after the storm.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Flood water inundates a home Monday morning on Sebring Parkway and extends into the road, blocking the eastbound lanes.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

A Monday afternoon motorist enters the turn lane on Sebring Parkway near West Boulevard to avoid a deep puddle extending from an adjacent property. Flooding on the north end of Lake Jackson inundated several homes between the lake and the Parkway after the storm.

By PHIL ATTINGER

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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.


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