Siesta Key experiences nearly 11.5 inches of rainfall on June 11, with Bee Ridge Road neighborhoods seeing more than 8 inches, as tropical system causes road and vehicle damage

County and City of Sarasota issue state of emergency declarations

Flooding is obvious on Bee Ridge Road on June 11. Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

On Thursday, June 13, both Sarasota County Government and the City of Sarasota declared states of emergency, following the State of Florida’s issuance of a state of emergency the previous night.

The announcements followed widespread reports of flooding, including damage to businesses and vehicles as a result of intense rainfall on June 11.

The rain was produced by what the National Weather Service has designated Invest 90L.

On June 11, reported, Siesta Key “picked up 11.49 inches of rain as a small area of intense rainfall pushed ashore. Sarasota itself topped a half-foot of rain on Tuesday, with 3.93 inches of that falling in a single hour, an all-time record for that location. Flooding was reported in SarasotaEverglades City and parts of the Miami ​metro,” the website pointed out.

“Florida’s heavy rain threat is from a combination of lower pressure in the Gulf of Mexico and a Bermuda high that shifted east pulling deep moisture north from the Caribbean Sea,” the website explained.

The declarations of the states of emergency authorize the expenditure of public funds and applications for state and federal financial assistance, news releases explained.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has coordinated with the Florida Department of Commerce “to open a survey for businesses to report damages,” the county news release said. “If your business experienced flooding into structures” or if flooding is having an impact on “your ability to run your business at all,” the release continued, persons should go to this link: BusinessDamageAssessmentsSurvey – Florida Disaster.

“The information [from the surveys] will be compiled and presented for possible assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA),” the city news release explained.

Additionally, the city release noted, “Residential and commercial property owners who experienced flooding this week are encouraged to report it to the City of Sarasota via The information collected will be included in a report submitted to the federal government for possible assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).”

In a June 12 Sarasota County Government video, Spencer Anderson, director of the county’s Public Works Department, explained that the rainfall that began early in the evening of June 11 did not stop for about three hours in the northern part of the county, especially over the city of Sarasota.

Approximately 8 inches of rain fell, Anderson added. He likened the event to a 1,000-year storm, noting that it was “very unusual.”

The intensity of that rainfall “just overwhelmed the majority of the stormwater and drainage system” in the city and surrounding areas, he continued. “We had crews out all night,” he added, working to clear debris from storm grates.

That rainfall finally stopped about 9 p.m., he said.

“We haven’t had a situation like that in quite a while,” Anderson continued. “I can’t pinpoint the last one.”

The total rainfall surpassed what fell in the same area as a result of Hurricane Ian’s strike on Southwest Florida in September 2022, he pointed out.

A June 12 graphic on the Sarasota County Water Atlas webpages shows rainfall totals over a 24-hour period as of 11:07 a.m. on June 12.

At least, he noted, since it occurred so early in hurricane season, county staff was able to learn where steps need to be taken to try to prevent future flooding.

Anderson did acknowledge that some areas are susceptible to clogged drains, and others have to contend with geographic conditions that necessitate “special attention.”

For example, although Sarasota County constructed a new stormwater system in the area of Siesta Public Beach Park about 10 years ago, Beach Road — which provides access to the facility — experienced flooding on June 11, as well. Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office personnel urged motorists to stay off that road.

The Sheriff’s Office advisory was issued to the news media at 2:15 a.m. on June 12. It also reported that 17th Street between Euclid Avenue and Mango Avenue was closed, with barricades in place.

The county road that suffered the most from flooding, Anderson said, was Tuttle Avenue, between Clark Road and Siesta Drive. The northbound lane was closed because of the damage, though the other northbound lane and both southbound lanes were open, he said.

The Sheriff’s Office noted that situation, as well, writing that the sidewalk and retaining wall had collapsed between Tanglewood Drive and Valencia Drive.

A “Flash Report” that the county’s Emergency Services Department issued on the morning of June 12 pointed out, “Sarasota County has been under a Flood Warning since early Tuesday evening. We have received reports of the following: Localized flooded roads and impacted vehicles on Siesta, Lido, Longboat Keys, and Downtown Sarasota. Siesta Key still has standing water in some locations. Swift Road/Tuttle Avenue just south of Siesta Drive is closed due to an apparent washout of the south bridge abutment over Phillippi Creek.”

Southbound drivers on Tuttle Avenue were being advised to detour to Siesta Drive, while northbound motorists were being told to take Tanglewood Drive.

Damage on the section of Tuttle Avenue is visible. Image courtesy Sarasota County Government via Facebook

By 7:30 a.m. on June 12, the Sarasota Police Department reported on Facebook that all major roadways had been reopened. However, the agency added, “A handful of side streets are still closed in the St. Armands area. Our officers are working to clear abandoned, disabled vehicles from the roadways near [North Boulevard of the Presidents and North Washington Drive]. We ask you to continue being patient as we remove these vehicles.”

In the June 12 Sarasota County Government video, Anderson pointed out that the island of St. Armands “is shaped like a bowl, so it does take a while for the water to recede. “
The county — which handles stormwater issues for the City of Sarasota — recently invested more than $1 million to rehabilitate the pump stations on St. Armands, Anderson noted, “and they are all functioning. … But the amount of rainfall completely overwhelmed the system.”

During the county video, Anderson was standing alongside part of Phillippi Creek, near the county pump station standing close to the intersection of Bahia Vista Street and Lockwood Ridge Road. It was built in 2021 to address flooding in the Pine Shores Estates community and adjacent areas, he said. “It was exercised last night. … The system operated as designed,” he added. “It doesn’t get used all that often.”

Stranded drivers and warnings about flooded streets

“We are expecting more rainfall this week,” the Police Department also wrote in its June 12 Facebook post. “Please do not attempt to navigate through flooded roadways. The water may be deeper than you think!”

At 10:30 p.m. on June 11, the Police Department posted the following on the X social media platform: “Thank you for your patience and kindness during this unprecedented storm.

“Our officers spent the past several hours rescuing people in flooded areas, some staying late and others coming in on their day off. We will continue working through the night to ensure everyone’s safety!”

Flooding on 17th Street is shown in this Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office photo. Image courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office

In another county government video released on June 12, Assistant Sarasota County Fire Department (SCFD) Chief Tim Dorsey explained that none of the calls that department received about motorists stranded in floodwaters involved dangerous situations.

Crew members were able to assist the individuals who wanted to leave their vehicles, he added, while some drivers — realizing that the water would receive — choose to remain in their vehicles.

Whenever flooding conditions pose danger, Dorsey stressed, Fire Department personnel will extract people from vehicles.

Nonetheless, he emphasized that people should be cautious about continuing on any road with standing water. It is impossible for a driver to be able to access the depth of that water, Dorsey pointed out. Moreover, he said, “The roadway may be undermined.”

The best response is to turn around and take another route, he added.

The county’s June 12 Flash Report also noted, “The National Weather Service (NWS) reported to Emergency Management that our area could be getting 4-6 inches of rain over the next 72 hours. Until the rain event has ceased, we can continue to expect possible road closures.”

Other results of the flooding

Among yet other details, the June 12 Flash Report pointed out that, as of that morning, the City of Sarasota had reported that approximately 100 cars had received water intrusion.

“County Emergency Services has received approximately a dozen calls regarding water intrusion into structures,” the report continued.

“The Historic Courthouse [in downtown Sarasota] has experienced some flooding,” it added. The county’s General Services Department staff already had been working with a remediation company, the report said. “The building remains open for operation.”

Then it noted that Turtle Beach Park, on south Siesta Key, “has been impacted by flooding, and General Services is assessing the status of the structures on [that] property.”

This is a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office post on X on June 13.

The report advised readers, “To check the status of park openings/closings, please visit”

Further, the report indicated that some of the county’s Breeze Plus Transit had suffered water intrusion, but none of the Breeze OnDemand vehicles nor the Siesta Key trolleys had been affected

The report also pointed out, “Sarasota County Public Utilities has seen an increase in the amount of water coming in to the Reclamation Facilities,” referring to the county’s wastewater treatment plants.

Additionally, the report noted that the county’s Contact Center logged “approximately 81 calls to report flooding concerns” between 5:01 p.m. on June 11 and 8 a.m. June 12.

It also said that the county’s Planning and Development Services Department “will send staff to assess flooding to residential and commercial structures that have been reported to the County to have taken on water. Any addresses located within a municipality will be forwarded to the appropriate contacts.”

The June 12 report added that the staff at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport “conducted an airfield inspection and found multiple areas of minor flooding with 1 to 2 inches of standing water. Part of a taxiway is closed, but they are able to reroute planes on the ground and continue operations.”

By the numbers

About 1 p.m. on June 12, Sara Nealeigh, the media relations officer for the county’s Emergency Services Department, provided more data.

She wrote that between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sarasota County Fire Department personnel responded to 282 total calls for service. She emphasized that that was “100 more calls than their daily average.”

Further, she wrote, “In that 24-hour period, [the Fire Department] responded to 144 non-EMS incidents, 47 of which were flood-related.

She included counts of other calls for service for the Fire Department.

  • Vehicles in Floodwater — 43.
  • Fire alarms — 39.
  • Wires down or arcing —15.
  • Traffic crashes — 13.
  • Sinking vehicles — 2.

In light of all the problems that ensued with the rainfall this week, leaders of the City of Sarasota took the opportunity, with the 2024 hurricane season officially having begun on June 1, to encourage members of the public are encouraged to register for Alert Sarasota County to receive alerts and updates via text, email or phone, the city news release continued. “City of Sarasota residents should select ‘City of Sarasota’ in the dropdown menu to receive messages for their area.

Additional planning and preparedness information is available at and,” the release added.

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