Total county damage from Debby estimated at $7 million

A Sarasota County illustration shows flooding produced by Tropical Storm Debby in SaraSea Circle on Midnight Pass Road on the south end of Siesta Key, resulting

Damage resulting from Tropical Storm Debby in the municipalities of Sarasota County and in the unincorporated parts of the county combined has been estimated at $7 million, Ed McCrane, the county’s emergency management chief, told members of the Siesta Key Association on Aug. 2.

Total damage from Debby in the unincorporated part of the county was estimated at $542,000, he said.

That did not include damage on Lido or Longboat keys or in the city of Venice, he pointed out.

Altogether, 256 Sarasota County residents had registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency by telephone because of property damage they suffered as a result of the storm’s effects, McCrane reported to the County Commission on Aug. 6.

Fifty-two structures in the county were damaged by wind or water, he told SKA members during their regular meeting.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center set up at Venice City Hall saw about 50 applicants, he reported to the County Commission.

That center closed on Aug. 4, with federal officials seeing no need to keep it open longer, McCrane said.

During the SKA meeting, McCrane used a PowerPoint presentation to show some of Debby’s local effects. Among them, he noted flooding in SaraSea Circle on Siesta Key as a result of high tide and back-up from the island’s sewer system.

However, he said, “We didn’t get a whole lot of reports of water in homes there.”

One manufactured home at the intersection of Proctor Road and Reno Drive had its roof ripped off, McCrane said, adding that the Tampa Bay area saw nine reports of tornadoes associated with the tropical storm.

Homes on Playmore Drive in Venice, which is on the Myakka River, also suffered flooding problems, he said. The road is used as a cut-through, he added. Drivers “were flying through with big trucks causing a wake” that sent water into homes.

In his report to the County Commission, McCrane wrote that FEMA and state recovery representatives had conducted site visits to damaged areas and facilities in the county on Aug. 1.

He added, “The FEMA Community Relations Team is in the process of completing their assignment in Sarasota County. They were able to canvass the majority of the county and made contact with all of our Chambers of Commerce, Hospitals, the NAACP, social service, human service and faith based organizations.”

They expected to have their mission completed in time to depart by Aug. 10, he added.

Individuals who have not contacted FEMA about damage still may do so, McCrane pointed out. They may call the agency at 1-800-621-3362 or go to the FEMA website,, to request assistance.

McCrane also noted in his report to the commission that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was in the process of scheduling visits to damaged beach areas.