Citrus County remains under a storm surge warning as Tropical Storm Nestor continues northeast and threatens the northern Gulf Coast.
By Saturday evening, the storm will slam inland with sustained winds of 60 mph and stronger gusts.
Locally, Citrus is one of nine counties where a storm surge remains in effect with surges between 3 to 5 feet above high tide at Kings Bay, Crystal River, likely leaving some coastal roads flooded, according to the National Weather Service.
Also on the storm surge warning list are Dixie, Franklin, Hernando, Jefferson, Levy, Pasco, Pinellas, Taylor, Wakulla counties, according to Citrus County Sheriff’s office Capt. David DeCarlo, director of county emergency management.
The storm surge is predicted to continue between late Friday and Sunday morning along Citrus County’s coast, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Rodney Wynn. The worst of that storm surge is predicted for late Friday throughout all of Saturday.
Locally, rain for the entire storm event is predicted to be between 2 to 4 inches with some isolated areas getting as much as 6 inches of rain.
Wind gusts for Friday evening in Citrus County were predicted to reach as high as 37 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
On Saturday, Citrus County is expected to see possible thunderstorms and sustained southeast winds as high as 23 mph and gusts reaching 34 mph.
By Sunday, Citrus County is expected to be clear of the storm with a reduced 20 percent chance of rain and winds no stronger than 10 mph. By Sunday evening, winds will have decreased to about 5 mph.
On Friday, the Sheriff’s Office provided self-service sandbag sites at:
- Bicentennial Park (baseball side)
8145 W Bicentennial Park Drive, Crystal River, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Homosassa Park (tennis court parking lot)
4210 S. Grandmarch Ave., Homosassa, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Crystal River Fire Station 650 NW 3rd Ave., Crystal River, 10 a.m. until supplies last.
While no hurricane DeCarlo still warned county residents to take heed.
“Continue to monitor the storm,” he told the Chronicle. “By no means should we take this lightly.”
There were no plans to open shelters.
He urged people to “use common sense” and be prepared.