Manatee County Commissioners declare local state of emergency 

  • Sep 6, 2017

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Sept. 6, 2017) – County offices will close at noon tomorrow, Sept. 7 and remain closed through the weekend as government employees transition to their emergency response duties in advance of Hurricane Irma.

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said an announcement will come on Sunday regarding County offices reopening next week.

Fort Hamer Bridge, scheduled to open to traffic on Sept. 23, will open temporarily to accommodate traffic related to the storm at 6 a.m. on Friday Sept. 8. Public Works Director Ron Schulhofer said the bridge is safe for vehicle traffic but it will close Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. to complete the project.

Manatee County Commissioners declared a local state of emergency this morning well ahead of potential impacts from Hurricane Irma. The declaration enables local officials to take steps toward issuing evacuation notices and opening hurricane shelters.  

 

No evacuations have been ordered at this time, but with tropical-force winds expected to arrive Saturday, officials urged residents to pay attention to news and forecasts.  
 
“Monitor weather reports, local media, and County social media for updates,” said Manatee County Emergency Management Chief Sherilyn Burris. “Residents in low-lying areas or mobile homes should be ready to evacuate if the notice comes.” 
 
Manatee County Schools will be closed on Friday, according to Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, in order to prepare to open as shelters if necessary. 
 
The County has also extended the hours that crews will be distributing sandbags. Sandbags are available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at the following locations:  
 
  • Buffalo Creek Park – 7550 69th St. E., Palmetto   
  • G.T. Bray Park – 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton   
  • Lakewood Ranch Park – 5350 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton   
  • Stormwater Ops – 5511 39th St. E., Bradenton   
  • Rubonia Community Center – 1309 72nd St. E., Palmetto   
"I want residents of Manatee County to stay vigilant by watching the news, tracking our internet and monitoring social media," said District 4 County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino. "Please remain calm, as we are all in this together.

"We had some major flooding earlier this week, so it was a dress rehearsal for what we could potentially see," DiSabatino said. So, if you are in those areas, be sure to seek higher ground to remain safe."

Manatee County residents can get information or report issues related to Hurricane Irma by calling the Citizens Information Center at (941) 749-3547. 911 should only be used in emergencies.  
 
Residents should monitor the news and the County's social media pages for updates. Follow Manatee County on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov. Follow Manatee County Emergency Management on Facebook and on Twitter @MCGPublicSafety
 
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501.