Where to get sandbags in Central Florida ahead of Hurricane Idalia's landfall along coast

Hurricane Idalia formed near the western tip of Cuba on its path to Florida Tuesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

Officials have urged people to prepare for the storm no matter if they're in the cone or not as damaging winds, heavy rain, and flooding or all possible. People have been encouraged to check their emergency kits and family plans, secure outdoor patio furniture, trim trees, and clean out gutters.

The below counties have opened spots for residents looking for sandbags. Most of the following locations require residents to bring their own shovel or filling tool. There's also a 10-bag limit in place for most sites. However, make sure to double-check each county's website for location hours and updates. 

LATEST IDALIA UPDATES: Tropical Storm Idalia strengthening, forecast to approach Florida as Cat 3 hurricane

Orange County

All locations open Monday, August 28 from noon to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, August 29 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Downey Park: 10107 Flowers Ave., Orlando, FL 32825
  • Meadow Woods Recreation Center: 1751 Rhode Island Woods Circle, Orlando, FL 32824
  • Bithlo Community Park: 18501 Washington Ave., Orlando, FL 32820
  • West Orange Recreation Center: 309 S. West Crown Point Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787
  • Clarcona Horse Park: 3535 Damon Road, Apopka, FL 32703
  • Rollins Softball Field Parking Lot: 542 Harper Street, Winter Park, FL 32789 (limit 8 bags per vehicle, must bring proof of residency)

Seminole County

The following sandbag sites open Monday, August 28 at 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Eastmonte Park: 803 Magnolia Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
  • Westmonte Recreation Center: 624 Bills Lane, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
  • Public Works Facility: 1655 Evans St., Oviedo, FL 32765
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Alachua County

A sandbag location is open at Wayside Park at 11855 Northwest US Highway 441. It will be open until 5 p.m. for full service on Monday. Aug. 28, then it will be open for self-service until sandbags run out. There are a limit of 10 bags per person.  

The location will reopen on Tuesday, Aug. 29 from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Marion County

The following sandbag locations will be open from noon until 8 p.m. on Monday, August 28, and from 7:00 a.m. until weather conditions prohibit operation on Tuesday, Aug, 29. The sandbag locations are are self-service and bags will be provided.

  • Belleview Sports Complex, 6501 SE 107th Street, Belleview FL
  • Dunnellon Public Works, 11924 Bostick Street, Dunnellon, FL
  • Ed Croskey Recreation Center, 1510 NW Fourth Street, Ocala, FL
  • Jervey Gantt Park, 2200 SE 36th Avenue, Ocala, FL
  • Martel Recycling Center, 296 SW 67th Avenue, Ocala, FL
  • Tuscawilla Park (Reilly Arts Center), 800 NE Sanchez Avenue, Ocala, FL

Volusia County

  • Bethune Point Park: 11 Bellevue Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 (open Monday, August 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • REC Center: 4655 City Center Circle, Port Orange, FL 32129 (open Monday, August 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, August 29 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Lake County

The following locations are open Monday, August 28 at 11 a.m. 

  • East Lake Sports and Community Complex: 24809 Wallick Road, Sorrento, FL 32776
  • North Lake Regional Park: 40730 Roger Giles Road, Umatila, FL 32784
  • Astor Fire Station: 23023 State Road 40, Astor, FL 32102
  • Minneola Athletic Complex: 1300 Fosgate Road (13930 Education Ave.), Minneola, FL 34715
  • PEAR Gateway Park (front entrance): 26701 US Hwy 27, Leesburg, FL 34714
  • Four Corners Fire Station 112: 16240 CR-474, Clermont, FL 34714
  • Hickory Point Recreation Complex: 27315 SR-19, Tavares, FL 32778

Flagler County

The following locations are open Monday, August 28 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Hidden Trails Community Center: 6108 Mahogany Boulevard, Bunnell, FL 32110
  • Bay Drive Park: 30 Bay Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137

Osceola County

  • Osceola Heritage Park: 1211 Shakerag Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744 (open on Monday, August 28 from noon to 7 p.m.) – 25-bag limit per household

Polk County

The following Roadway Maintenance Unit locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29:

  • 900 NE 5th St., Mulberry, FL 33860
  • 8970 N. Campbell Road, Lakeland, FL 33810
  • 1061 NE 9th St., Fort Meade, FL 33841
  • 350 County Road 630A, Frostproof, FL 33843
  • 1701 Holt Road, Auburndale, FL 33823
  • 805 Dr. Martin Luther King St. SW, Dundee, FL 33838
  • 5109 Allegany Road, Poinciana, FL 34759

How to properly fill a sandbag

When going to a sandbag site, make sure to bring a shovel and another person to help fill bags and carry them to the car. Filled bags can weigh up to 30 pounds.

Fill each bag between a third or half way and then tie them.

What are the best types of sandbags to use?

According to Seminole County, burlap sacks and plastic sandbags (polypropylene) are recommended. Do not use garbage bags or feed sacks.

Feed sacks can be too large to handle and garbage bags are too slippery to stack.

What to do with sandbags before severe weather?

Water bags can be stacked to help divert water away from doors, windows, or buildings, according to Seminole County. 

What to do with sandbags after severe weather?

Sandbags that have not come into contact with water can be saved for use in case of additional flooding, according to Osceola County. They can also be used for gardens or flower bags. Bags can be thrown in the garbage, too. 

Do not use the sand from sandbags to fill children's sandboxes or playgrounds. 

There's also a disposal site for sandbags that have not come into contact with flood waters or other contaminants at the Bass Road Yard Waste Disposal Site at 750 S. Bass Road in Kissimmee.