Okeechobee County escapes damage as Hurricane Matthew passes

Okeechobee County prepared for the worst and hoped for the best as Hurricane Matthew approached Florida this week.  This time, we got lucky.

Thursday night was a relatively quiet night as Hurricane Matthew passed by to the east. The county experienced some rain bands, and some high winds, but no storm damage was reported, according to the Emergency Operations Center on Friday morning.

“It was a very quiet night,” said Okeechobee City Police Detective Bill Saum. “We had some bands come through and we watched them just miss us, go north of us or go south of us.”

Two areas of Okeechobee County — CR15A and Lazy 7 — experienced power outages. Florida Power and Light was on the scene working on repairs by 8 a.m. Friday morning.

According to the American Red Cross, more than 200 Okeechobee County residents sought shelter in the Red Cross shelters opened at South Elementary School and Osceola Middle School. Both shelters will be closed by noon today (Oct. 7).

Fourteen residents spent the night in the Special Medical Needs Shelter at the Okeechobee County Health Department.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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