Live updates: Hurricane Ian's impact on Alachua County

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As Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida Wednesday, the team at The Gainesville Sun stands committed to bringing the region the most up-to-date news and impacts on the Alachua County region.

This list will be periodically updated throughout the duration of the storm in an effort to keep locals prepared and safe.

Sept. 30, 12:10 p.m. — UF classes

The University of Florida sent out an alert that said classes and normal operations will resume Saturday, Oct. 1.

Sept. 30, 10:00 a.m. — City parks re-open

Gainesville's Depot Park re-opens to the public today from noon until 7 p.m.All other city parks and facilities will open back on Monday. Ironwood Golf Course opens Saturday.

Sept. 30, 9:45 a.m. — Power back up

All power outages caused by Hurricane Ian for Gainesville Regional Utilities customers have now been restored.

Sept. 29, 1:15 p.m. — Health clinics

The Alachua County Health Department, located at 224 SE 24th Street in Gainesville, announced it will be open for medical clinic hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call 352-334-7900.

Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. — Helping others

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe announced that fire rescue crews were joining a team from Marion County to help those impacted down south.

Poe wrote on Twitter that seven "community builders" from Gainesville Fire Rescue will join the Regional Urban Search and Rescue effort in Port Charlotte.

Sept. 29, 12:15 p.m. — Restoring power

Gainesville Regional Utilities has restored power to most residents within its service zone.

As of 12:45 p.m., about 330 people scattered throughout Gainesville were without power. The largest outage appears to be in east Gainesville around Newnan's Lake where about 156 people are waiting for power to be restored.

Sept. 29, 11:10 a.m. — Storm preparation 'winding down'

Alachua County spokesperson Mark Sexton is advising residents to remain careful but said the eastward shift of Ian means the area has been spared its worst impacts.

Sexton said during a Thursday morning briefing that the county remained under a Tropical Storm Watch, with winds in the 20-30 mph range and gusts around 45 mph possible. But he said Alachua County has avoided the heavy rainfall and flooding that had been feared.

"We're so fortunate that this event did not materialize to be as serious as we were concerned about, but we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best," he said.

He noted that local crews are headed to hard-hit parts of Florida to help, but that the local storm preparation effort “seems to be winding down” right now.

Sept. 29, 10:35 a.m. — Trash pick up

Alachua County and the city of Gainesville's garbage and recycling pick-up services will resume Friday for those who normally have Thursday pick-ups. Regular pick-up schedules will resume Monday.

High Springs will see pick-ups resume Saturday.

Regional Transit System (RTS) also resumes tomorrow. Depot Park will open Friday at noon.

County collection centers will reopen tomorrow and resume their regular schedule.

Sept. 29, 9:20 a.m. — Flood watch over

Alachua County is still under a tropical storm watch but has lifted its flood watch precaution. The county expects to receive only 1 inch of rain.

The county is experiencing sustained winds of up to 20 to 30 mph, with tropical storm wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph.

Sept. 29, 9 a.m. — Alachua County deactivates shelters

With Alachua County appearing to avoid the worst impacts of Ian, the focus is turning to hard-hit areas to the south.

The county reported Thursday morning that it “is deactivating shelters and is no longer accepting new shelter residents." The county’s 311 Critical Information Line is also being deactivated today at 5 p.m.

“Alachua County is pleased to report that we are in good shape as the path of now Tropical Storm Ian shifted dramatically to the east overnight," the news release said. “However, our hearts go out to Florida residents who continue to deal with the destructive impacts of this storm."

Alachua County Fire Rescue is now preparing to send people and equipment to help those in high-impact areas to the south.

Sept. 29, 8:30 a.m. — Power outages

Gainesville Regional Utilities is reporting that at least 6,600 people are without power.

Those most impacted lived in the southwest portion of Gainesville near Interstate 75 and Archer Road. GRU's outage map shows 2,157 people are without power in that region.

Another 1,847 people living around the corner of Northwest 43rd Street and Millhopper Road also are without power.

Sept. 28, 3:50 p.m. — Blood donations needed

LifeSouth urges local residents to help address the impact of Hurricane Ian by donating blood.

Donations are needed because blood supplies are low and the storm will affect blood drives across Florida, Georgia and Alabama over the next week, according to LifeSouth officials. Currently, all blood types are needed.

LifeSouth provides blood for patients at UF Health, HCA Florida North Florida Hospital and the VA Medical Center. All blood donors receive a wellness screen prior to donation and a thank-you gift.

Blood donations are being collected Thursday at LifeSouth's donor centers in Gainesville, Jonesville, Newberry and Alachua, as well as bloodmobiles at the following Gainesville locations: UF Health, the VA Medical Center, 4Rivers Smokehouse and possibly Fresh Market.

For more information about blood donations, call 1-888-795-2707 or visit

Sept. 28, 3:30 p.m. — Water notice

The city of Gainesville is advising Alachua County residents that Gainesville Regional Utilities doesn't have any boil water advisories currently in effect, but that doesn't mean all county residents are in the clear.

The city of Gainesville noted through Twitter "that GRU does not serve the whole county and some citizens are self-served with private wells"

Sept. 28, 3:05 p.m. — Ian makes landfall

Hurricane Ian has officially made landfall in Florida as of 3:05 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.

It swooped in as a Category 4 hurricane near Cayo Costa with sustained winds of 150 mph. Alachua County remains under a tropical storm watch.

Sept. 28, 1:25 p.m. — Power outages

Gainesville Regional Utilities is expecting widespread outages across its service area.

Real-time outages are reported on its website,, where residents can also find an estimated time of restoration. The municipal utility serves approximately 93,000 customers around the Alachua County region

During Hurricane Irma, GRU restored power to roughly 53,000 customers within 48 hours.

Sept. 28, noon — Wastewater overflows

Gainesville Regional Utilities officials are asking people to be aware of how heavy rainstorms put additional stress on its wastewater treatment system.

In an effort to limit overflows, GRU asks that people only run dishwashers and washing machines when necessary and to avoid taking long showers and baths. The utility also asks to only flush your toilet when necessary.

If you experience a sewer backup or overflow, call GRU at 352-334-2711.

Sept. 28, 11:30 a.m. — Storm intensifies

Hurricane Ian has intensified into a Category 4 storm as it makes way to Florida's gulf coast. The region, however, remains in a "tropical storm watch," as path projections show Ian going beneath Alachua County.

Experts say for locals to expect 2 inches of rain today and winds up to 39 mph.

Gainesville bus services will stop at 9 p.m. and trash pick-up is expected to resume Saturday.

Sand and bags are available for Gainesville residents until 4 p.m. at Citizens Field, located at 1000 NE Waldo Road, while supplies last. The city has distributed roughly 32,000 bags at two locations.

For other sandbag locations around the county, click here.

Those who need to park their car someplace safer can use Gainesville's southwest parking garage, located at 105 SW 3rd St., through Friday for free.

Sept. 28, 10:25 a.m. — Shelters starting to open

Alachua County schools Superintendent Shane Andrews was touring shelters before the storm hit the region, meeting with staff, custodians and administrators.

On Tuesday, the county activated two pet-friendly shelters, one special needs and one general population shelter. These shelters are as follows:

General Population (pet-friendly) shelters:

  • Easton Newberry Archery Center (24880 N.W. 16th Ave, Newberry)

  • Eastside High School (1201 S.E. 43rd Street, Gainesville)

General population (not pet-friendly) shelter:

  • Meadowbrook Elementary School (11525 N.W. 39th Ave, Gainesville)

Special needs (service animals only) shelter:

  • Alachua County Senior Center (5701 N.W. 34th Blvd., Gainesville)

Sept. 28, 10 a.m. — Evacuation in order for mobile homes

Evacuation is ordered for those residing in mobile homes, manufactured homes, recreational vehicles, and homes that may not survive the storm, along with those living in low-lying areas or those in proximity to bodies of water.

A tropical storm watch and a flood watch are in effect in Alachua County. Strong winds, extreme flooding, and flash flooding are large concerns for Alachua County. Torrential rainfall in rain bands will move up from the south today and continue into Friday.

Extreme river and tributary flooding are possible. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous. Driving conditions could become hazardous with heavy winds, rainfall, and flooded roads. Numerous downed trees, power outages, and damage to structures and mobile homes are possible. Isolated tornadoes are possible.

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Hurricane Ian live updates for Alachua County region