CITRUS COUNTY, Florida — Preparations are underway in Citrus County for Hurricane Michael.

Even though the storm should stay far off the coast, coastal flooding may still be a problem. Immediate evacuations are now underway for homes in Zone A, plus for anyone in manufactured homes and RVs in the whole county.

The storm is reminding many of Hermine in 2016. Though that storm never hit Citrus directly, there was flooding anyway.

Capt. Jeff Beeler is getting his boat rental business ready on the Homosassa River, remembering what Hermine did do it two years ago.

“This area looked like a big lake — looked like part of the river,” Beeler said.

Though that storm was far into the Gulf of Mexico, there was still a great deal of flooding, especially along the Homosassa River.

“It left a big mess,” Beeler said.

Citrus County leaders are worried they could see something similar with Michael.

That’s why they opened sandbag stations, which many residents took advantage of.

“Hopefully we won’t need them, but better to be safe than sorry,” said Homosassa resident Mary White.

If you need sandbags, you can find them at:


4508 S. Grandmarch Ave. Homosassa

(Near Grover Cleveland Blvd.)


7490 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. Crystal River

 (Near Dan’s Clam Stand – on opposite side of road)

*There is a limit of 25 bags per vehicle*

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Road Maintenance Office at 527-7610.

Potential Storm Surge

People who have properties on some of the islands in Citrus County are getting their properties ready for potential storm surge. Most saw significant damage two years ago after Hermine.

“Better to be prepared than unprepared for something that’s the worse case scenario,” Gary Bartell Jr. said.

Hunter Gibson said it’s some of the most preparation they’ve ever done, because of the damage Hermine did here two years ago.

“Everything inside the cabins had to be completely rebuilt,” Gibson explained.

Gibson’s family has made some changes, making sure their furniture was up higher in case of another flood.

“We never thought Hermine would be anything like it was,” Gibson explained.

Bartell worries some people may be thinking the same about Michael.

With the two storms sharing similar paths, and Michael looking a bit stronger than Hermine, Bartell fears the storm surge could be worse this time around. 

“If we have this high of a tide while that storm comes through, it’s going to be Hermine times two,” Bartell said.

Reporter Kim Loeffler contributed to this story.