More closings, storm shelter openings announced

Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane addresses the Sarasota County Commission in a special session on Aug. 24. Photo by Norman Schimmel

More Sarasota County and municipal closings have been announced in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm is expected to increase to hurricane strength late today, Aug. 26, or early Monday morning, county Emergency Management officials warn.

Tropical storm-force winds are expected by this evening, a county news release points out. The public is urged to continue to monitor local media, radio and for storm updates and to follow the Emergency Management state on Twitter and Facebook.

Storm surge

• Coastal residents can expect a storm surge at least 1 foot higher than the highest surge from Tropical Storm Debby

• Boat owners should take necessary precautions, including moving vessels, because of expected storm surge of 3 feet or more.

Storm shelters

Sarasota County has opened three shelters for the general population:

• Heron Creek Middle School, 6501 W. Price Blvd. in North Port (pet-friendly)

• Brookside Middle School, 3636 S. Shade Ave. in Sarasota (pet-friendly)

• Woodland Middle School, 2700 Panacea Blvd., in North Port (not open to pets during this event)

County staff is warning that hospitals are not available as special needs shelters.

No Sarasota County Area Transit service will be provided on Monday, Aug. 27.

The following will be closed:

• Sarasota County offices

• Clerk of the Court

• Courts

• City of Sarasota offices

Because of the potential impact of Tropical Storm Isaac, Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell authorized Interim City Manager Terry Lewis to declare a State of Emergency today, Aug. 26, at 10:15 a.m. A state of emergency allows administrative processes, including purchasing, to be expedited, a city news release points out.

• City of Venice offices

• City of North Port offices.

• Town of Longboat Key offices

• Sarasota County School Board

• Sheriff’s business office

• Health Department


Emergency Management officials are recommending the following evacuations:

• Manasota Key: strongly recommended because of anticipated storm surge and previously eroded beachfront from Tropical Storm Debby.

• Mobile homes: recommended because of possible tornado activity and the fact that low-lying, coastal areas are prone to flooding.

• Voluntary evacuation: recommended for residents and visitors who are near rivers or low-lying areas and those who would feel safer in a shelter.

Garbage collection cancelled on Monday

• No Monday garbage collection will be provided for Sarasota County; the cities of Sarasota, Venice and North Port; or the Town of Long Boat Key.

City of Sarasota garbage collection is expected to resume on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with collection days pushed back one day. Monday collection will be picked up on Tuesday and Tuesday collection will be scheduled for Wednesday, a city news release says.

• When collections resume, residents are reminded to tie yard waste securely in bundles that weigh no more than 40 pounds.

Roads and bridges

The Coast Guard was expected to lock four bridges to marine traffic Sunday, Aug. 26, as winds increase:

• Blackburn Point swing bridge (Casey Key)

• Manasota Key drawbridge (Englewood)

• Venice Avenue drawbridge (Venice)

• Albee Road drawbridge (Nokomis)

Activation level for EOC

The Emergency Operations Center has moved up to Level 1, which is full activation, the county news release points out.

Red Cross phone and iPad app

The Red Cross encourages people to download the new “Hurricane App” to get instant access to hurricane safety steps and weather alerts for areas in the path of the storm. The free app, launched earlier this month, can be used on the iPhone and Android operating systems.

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit