Orange County

Central Florida residents prepare ahead of Tropical Storm Ian

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — With Tropical Storm Ian strengthening, Central Florida residents have started to prepare for its future impacts.


Channel 9 visited Downey Park Saturday, where many people stocked up on sandbags and supplies.

Orange County refilled the sand pile at least once today because of the number of people who came to fill up sandbags.

Many people said they were waiting for sand sites to open because securing their house is the last thing they need to do on their list.

Read: Eye on the tropics: Here’s where you can get sandbags in Central Florida

Residents said multiple stores have started to limit certain supplies and cases of water to keep from selling out.

Gas stations have also been busy most of the day.

“We thankfully got there at 7 a.m. when they opened, so there was still some supply,” Amanda Acobes said.

She said she had driven past a Walmart and saw that the parking lot was packed.

Read: Timeline for Tropical Depression 9: Here’s what to expect

Juan Leonardo Paulino said there are a lot of food pantries and food banks that are available, and he recommends residents seek them out if they need supplies.

A few things that you can put in your hurricane kit include batteries, flashlights, food that does not require cooking, water and a first-aid kit.

Read: Here are 9 things you should put in your hurricane supply kit

The sandbag site at Downey Park is open until 8 p.m. and will reopen Sunday at 8 a.m.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.