Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has ordered a countywide curfew starting tonight and running through Saturday morning, and Sheriff Jerry Demings said his patrols will be making sure only essential emergency drivers are on the roads.

The curfew will run from 10 p.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Saturday.

Earlier, Seminole County declared a curfew running from 5 a.m. Friday through 7 a.m. Saturday.

Jacobs said Hurricane Matthew will produce hurricane winds from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday in Orange County and winds of 100 mph can be expected. She said tropical storm-force winds are likely to last for 23 hours Friday.

“This curfew is intended to protect the life and safety of our citizens and we’re asking everyone to take it very seriously,” Jacobs said.

Anyone still needing to get to shelters should do so immediately, she said.

She said the county’s Bithlo Park shelter is at capacity, but the other five still have room at Odyssey Middle School, Apopka High School, Corners Lake Middle School, Timber Creek High School, and Barnett Park.

As of Friday at 2 p.m., Orange County lifted the curfew, but still strongly advised residents to stay off the roads.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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