News Cast 11/8 (audio included)

News Cast for November 8th:

Okeechobee County is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning. The Emergency Operations Center is currently at activation level 2: partial activation.

• Two SHELTERS will be opening at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2022.

o A Special Needs Shelter will open at the Department of Health at 8:00 a.m. located at 1700 NW 9th Avenue. Registration is required at https://snr.flhealthresponse.com/

o A General Population and Pet Friendly shelter will open at South Elementary at 10:00 a.m. located at 2468 SW 7th Avenue. Pets are required to be registered with the County and provide a crate, up-to-date shot records, food for at least 3-5 days, water for the animal and a litter box if the pet is a cat.

• Closures scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday (11/9-11/10/22). *Please note many offices will also be closed on 11/11/22 for Veterans Day.

o Okeechobee County Offices* (except during the BOCC meeting at the Historic Courthouse on 11/9/22 at 8:30am)

o City of Okeechobee Offices*

o Okeechobee Judicial Center (Courthouse)*

o Okeechobee County Sheriff Office Administration Offices*

o Department of Health*

o Indian River State College*

o Disaster Recovery Center at the Okeechobee Library*

o Okeechobee County Public Schools

o Okeechobee County Parks (beginning at 2pm Tuesday)

o Okeechobee County Library (beginning at 4pm Tuesday)*

o Okeechobee County Tax Collectors Office*

• An information call line is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. by calling 863-824-6888.

• The Board of County Commissioners regular meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.

• Household waste and Hurricane Ian debris will continue to be picked up throughout the community until the approaching storm conditions become too excessive to safely continue. Updated information from Waste Management is available at www.WMFLoridaStorm.com.

Schools closing for storm

Tropical Storm Warnings are now up for Okeechobee as Nicole continues heading west.

This would be the third hurricane in history to strike Florida in November.

Okeechobee County Commissioners declared a local emergency this morning.

County Administrator Deborah Manzo said it likely will be a category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall.

She said the forecast for Okeechobee includes 45-60 mile per hour winds with gusts of 75 miles per hour, and between four and six inches of rain.

County schools and County Offices are closed Wednesday and Thursday.

County parks close at 2 pm today.

Sandbags are available at the public works complex on North West 2nd Street.

The friends of army aviation event at the airport has been postponed, perhaps to November 14.

The county commission moved the regular meeting set for November 10 to November 9 at 8:30 am.

Coastal areas are worried about storm surge and beach erosion.

An emergency for the entire east coast of Florida declared by the governor.

Andy Etheridge with Volusia County said the beach is not the place to be this week.

They worry that structures on the east coast damaged by Ian will be further damaged by this storm.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a pickup truck driver suffered minor injury after he pulled out from a stop sign on State Road 78 and collided with a passenger bus Monday afternoon.

It happened on State Road 29 a few miles north of LaBelle.

The bus driver and passengers were not hurt.  The pickup driver was a 58 year old man from Lehigh Acres.

South Georgia and Florida McDonalds will present a $10,000 check to the Okeechobee schools end the hunger back pack program.

The national honor society students each week pack up 420 bags of food for needy elementary and middle school students in Okeechobee so they have food on the weekends.

Polls open today in Okeechobee for the 2022 general election.

The only local race is for three city council seats, with five candidates on the ballot.

City residents also get to vote on a package of charter changes including one that makes the city clerk an appointed position.

Glades County elects one county commissioner either RaShondra Croskey or Hattie Taylor.

Hendry County voters elect one county commissioner and three school board members.

The Okeechobee Education Foundation wants more Okeechobee kids to get college degrees or certifications.

Alaina Barron is the first full time director of the foundation.

She said Okeechobee needs to improve in two areas when it comes to education.

“Okeechobee has one of the lowest completion rates in Florida.  We are the highest for poverty and one of the lowest for completion of school.”


The Pahokee City Commission learned they will pay $48,000 to Big Dog Express to pick up all the debris left by Hurricane Ian.

They also celebrated the opening of the Muck Tavern at the marina, a venture of former NFL players.

Mayor Keith Babb also urged the city to do a better job of mowing and maintaining the Port Mayaca Cemetery.

Commissioners Sarah Perez and Juan Gonzales complained the city attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks had not been responding to their request for information.