Live updates: Tropical Storm Idalia expected to brush Sarasota
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Live updates: Tropical Storm Idalia expected to brush Sarasota

Jun 08, 2023

Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to become a strong Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of about 115 mph with Sarasota and Manatee counties near the forecast zone.

Although it's projected to make landfall between the Big Bend area of Florida and Tampa Bay, western Manatee County and northern Sarasota County could see hurricane-force winds, with 6 to 8 inches of rain in the region.

A supermoon will contribute to higher-than-normal tides, bringing a projected storm surge of 4-7 feet to Tampa Bay and 3-5 feet above normal in Sarasota.

More Idalia coverage:Idalia: Hurricane force winds could brush Sarasota and Manatee as storm intensifies

Storm prep:Manatee County opening self-serve sandbag stations Monday as hurricane, surge watches set

Follow along for the latest updates on the storm's impact in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

As of 7 p.m., the National Weather Service said Tropical Storm Idalia will become a major Hurricane with life-threatening storm surge to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Idalia is forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph sustained winds. The NWS expects landfall Wednesday between the Big Bend Area of Florida and Tampa Bay. Expect heavy rain and freshwater flooding along the coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, especially at high tide.

The impact will be isolated inland south of Interstate 4, and the storm will bring 6-10 inches of rain with higher amounts along the coast and north of I-4, according to the NWS.

The forecast models are clustering their landfall locations around Cedar Key, increasing the confidence thestorm will make landfall north of Tarpon Springs. As of Monday evening, Tropical Storm Idalia remained 550miles southwest of Cedar Key.

-- Staff Report

In the face of Idalia, Suncoast Blood Centers is issuing a call for action to ensure the blood center's shelves are stocked and ready to meet the demands of any emergency situation that may arise. The organization asks that if you feel safe and can donate blood at this time, please consider visiting one of the donation centers in the next 48 hours, providing essential support to those who may require life-saving blood transfusions.

Suncoast Blood Centers has donation centers at the following locations:

Bayshore Shopping Center6026 14th Street W.Bradenton, FL 34207

Lakewood Ranch3025 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. – Suite 111Bradenton, FL 34211

Charlotte Square2150 Tamiami Trail, Unit 17Port Charlotte, FL 33948

Sarasota1760 Mound StreetSarasota, FL 34236

Venice – Bird Bay Plaza539 US Hwy 41 BypassVenice, FL 34285

-- Staff Report

Manatee County public safety officials issued a mandatory evacuation for residents who live in the Level A evacuation area ahead of a potential six to 10-foot storm surge, and a voluntary evacuation for residents of Level B areas.

Level A includes Manatee County barrier islands, low-lying areas, and all mobile homes or RVs regardless of location. Residents can look up their evacuation level at

Residents can take emergency shelter at Virgil Mills Elementary School at 7200 69th Street E. Palmetto, Jesse P. Miller Elementary School at 60143rd St. W, Bradenton, and Freedom Elementary School at 9515 FL 64, Bradenton.

What to Bring

Emergency supplies, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags or air mattresses, clothing, toiletries, chairs, important documents and irreplaceable keepsakes

Pet Shelter Requirements

Pets must arrive and remain in a carrier or cage except at scheduled exercise times. Owners must bring pet food and supplies as needed.Owners must provide proof of rabies vaccination and are responsible for the care of their own pets.

-- Jesse Mendoza

Residents began showing up at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota after the end of the business day Monday ahead of Hurricane Idalia's anticipated landfall.

Around two dozen residents filled sandbags for their homes at the Sarasota County government-run sandbag station around 6 p.m.

County road and bridge employee Chris Dooley said residents were slowly beginning to trickle in the evening.

"We're running about 3,000 bags today. We were at 10 to 12,000 bags each day last year (for Hurricane Ian)," Dooley said. "It's obviously a lot slower than last year so far, but we are open tomorrow for residents."

Residents will be able to collect and bag up to 10 bags of sand per household again on Tuesday. from 7 a.m. until noon.

-- Samantha Gholar

Ray Rios, 33, a central Sarasota resident, said "I feel like everybody's paranoid. Everybody's a lot more getting more prepared at the same time though."

For Destiney Lejander, 29, a Sarasota renter, the impending Hurricane Idalia is her first hurricane having previously lived in Tennessee.

"I live 10 minutes from Siesta Key Beach. I have sliding glass doors in my bedroom, so I'm going to take these and pack that down to try to keep everything together," she said. "I feel prepared. I made sure I had flashlights, batteries, and I got groceries today, pet supplies, and even bug spray in case there is standing water. I thought about heading out, but I think I'm just going to hunker down."

-- Samantha J. Gholar

Longboat Key Town Manager Howard Tipton said town offices would be closed on Tuesday and that people visiting the island should stay away due to the threat of high water.

Tipton, who has been the chief executive for the Town of Longboat Key for about six months, said some low-lying roads already flood when King Tides happen without a hurricane threatening to swamp the barrier island.

A King Tide is a non-scientific term used to describe abnormally high tides experienced during a new or full moon.

Tipton said the town is bracing for winds from the storm between 50 to 70 mph, with between four to six inches of rain and the potential for five feet of storm surge.

"The storm surge is the biggest concern," he said.

Tipton expected some streets to begin flooding by late Tuesday morning and urged anyone to avoid Longboat Key for the next couple days.

"There is no reason to be out on Longboat on Tuesday or Wednesday," Tipton said. "We will look forward to seeing visitors on the other side of the storm."

He noted that all low-lying areas were being evacuated with both Sarasota and Manatee county officials urging residents or visitors of the barrier islands to get off the islands.

Bridges, the town manager said, will close when winds become dangerous for emergency personnel — typically when winds reach 45 mph.

He said Manatee County officials would be the authority to decide whether turning the barrier island's water off would be necessary during the Hurricane. He said he has not heard if or when that could happen.

Tipton said he and his staff will assess conditions on Tuesday evening to decide if the town's government will be open on Wednesday.

-- Derek Gilliam

People who need transportation to Sarasota County evacuation centers which open at 8 a.m. can call 311 after 7 a.m. Tuesday to schedule pickup. Signs will be posted at rally centers such as Buchan Airport Community Park, the Englewood Sports Complex and the Venice Community Center.

For a complete list of rally points, visit

The Suncoast Humane Society, 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood, is seeking foster homes in Zone C or higher for all animals in its shelter, so they can be safe from storm impacts.

Anyone can stop by the shelter from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, to foster an animal. For more information call 941-474-7884.

The foster animals can be returned Thursday, after the storm passes.

Manatee County officials sent a release, warning that with storm surge forecasts topping six to 10 feet, they had ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in “Level A” areas and voluntary Level B evacuations. Also, all residents and visitors in mobile homes, manufactured homes, RVs or travel trailers must evacuate. Details of evacuation levels are at

“Our primary concern at this point is storm surge,” said Manatee County Commission Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge. “Coastal residents need to heed our warnings.”

The following locations have been identified as Storm Shelters for those who must leave their homes (all are pet friendly): Mills Elementary School, Miller Elementary School, Freedom Elementary School.

Public shelters should be a last option. It is always recommended to stay with family and friends if possible if you evacuate.

What to Bring

In addition to your emergency supplies (food, water, medicine, flashlights, batteries, first aid kit, etc.), the following are good items to bring with you if you must evacuate to a shelter:

Pet Shelter Requirements

Pet sheltering requirements and rules are important during disaster situations.

Pet Survival Kit for Pet-Friendly Shelters

--Jesse Mendoza

The School District of Manatee County will close all schools and support sites on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for Tropical Storm Idalia, which is expected to develop into a hurricane in the following days and produce a dangerous storm surge.

The decision to close the district was made in close collaboration with Manatee County Emergency Management. Three schools opened Monday afternoon for those seeking shelter from the storm.

Those shelters were set up at Virgil Mills Elementary School at 7200 69th Street E. Palmetto, Jesse P. Miller Elementary School at 60143rd St. W, Bradenton, and Freedom Elementary School at 9515 FL 64, Bradenton.

Officials at the former Piney Point fertilizer plant told the Herald-Tribune that operation of the underground injection well will be stopped during the storm.

They said that there are no concerns about the impact rainfall would have on the facility because the well has been used to inject about 85 million gallons of pre-treated wastewater from the facility deep underground since early April.

-- Jesse Mendoza

The Home True Value Hardware store in Holmes Beach has been humming with people stopping in and preparing for the storm, head cashier Gloria Creighton said Monday. The store’s sales have doubled, selling more than usual.

No one’s really panicking about the oncoming storm, but everyone is preparing, Creighton said.

So far, the hardware store, located at 5324 Marina Drive, has run out of sandbags, bungee cords and tarps, and many customers have bought flashlights, batteries and all different sizes of propane canisters — which the store had a delivery of Monday.

Creighton added the store will probably be closed on Tuesday. This comes as other stores throughout Holmes Beach began closing Monday, including several stores along Pine Avenue which were closed, some with sandbags before the doors and others boarded up.

“Everybody’s getting ready, is what it is,” Creighton said. “Better safe than sorry.”

--Gabriela Szymanowska

Ringling College and USF Sarasota-Manatee both canceled classes for Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Idalia, according to announcements sent to each of the college’s students on Monday.

USF expects to reopen on Thursday, but a final decision will be made Wednesday, the college said in an email.

-Steven Walker

-Dan Wagner

-Earle Kimel

There did not appear to be a rush for supplies by worried residents of south Venice or Siesta Key, at least not yet.

A sign on copy paper near the plywood at a Lowe's Home Improvement store along Tamiami Trial issued a warning to future buyers that waterlogged material was not returnable.

A woman and her daughter stood at checkout ringing up a case of water and a generator.

But the store, while busy, did not seem to hum with the anxious energy that sometimes builds prior to a major hurricane making landfall.

Morton's Siesta Market, a small grocery store on Siesta Key, did not appear to have a rush of customers and tourists still strolled Beach Road.

The public parking lot to Siesta Beach appeared mostly full on a slightly windy, but clear-blue-sky day.

Hailey Malone and her mother Shelly Wiggins spent Monday morning at Siesta Key Beach.

They've come to Siesta Key from Illinois while visiting family in Acardia.

Malone said her Acardia relatives aren't worried about the storm, noting they lived through the flooding that came after Hurricane Ian.

Both plan to leave Siesta Key on Tuesday before the winds pick up.

They fly back to Illinois on Thursday. Malone, who had a 13-month-old baby, was a bit worried the storm could impact flights but was hopeful that since her flight was out of Central Florida, it might not be delayed.

-Derek Gilliam

Manatee County Schools will close all schools and support locations Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Idalia, the district wrote in a statement Monday afternoon.

After-school activities for Monday will end by 6 p.m. as the district moves to open select schools as hurricane shelters.

Those shelters were set up at Virgil Mills Elementary School at 7200 69th Street E. Palmetto, Jesse P. Miller Elementary School at 60143rd St. W, Bradenton, and Freedom Elementary School at 9515 FL 64, Bradenton. Other shelters could open as needed, the district said.

The decision to close the district was made in close collaboration with Manatee County Emergency Management.

Officials at the former Piney Point fertilizer plant told the Herald-Tribune that operation of the underground injection well will be stopped during the storm.

They said that there are no concerns about the impact rainfall would have on the facility because the well has been used to inject about 85 million gallons of pre-treated wastewater from the facility deep underground since early April.

-- Steven Walker and Jesus Mendoza

Sarasota County declared an evacuation Monday afternoon for Level A zones – which include low-lying areas, barrier islands, manufactured homes, and liveaboard vessels.

Sarasota County schools will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday, as all 12 Sarasota County emergency evacuation shelters will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

All 12 Sarasota County emergency shelters will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, while shelters for medically dependent residents will open at 7 a.m.

As of Monday afternoon, Sarasota County was still finalizing details of transportation from rally points such as the Venice Community Center on Tuesday morning to evacuation centers.

A county spokeswoman said via email that for now, transportation can be arranged through Breeze Plus and Breeze On Demand by calling 311. There’s more information on those services on

Sarasota County suspended regular governmental operations as of 1 p.m. Monday, to support emergency operations. Regular operations will remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We’re taking those actions out of an abundance of caution related to things like surge and storm winds,” Sarasota County Emergency Services Director Rich Collins said at a Monday afternoon press conference. “Homeowners who live in safe homes outside of the evacuation area built in 2002 or later with shutters can shelter at home with supplies.”

Collins urged that anyone who shelters in place have a hurricane kit with food, water and medication for 10 days and a battery-operated radio.

Sarasota County School Superintendent Terrence Connor said schools and after-school programs will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday, with district officials monitoring the storm in anticipation of reopening Thursday.

Sarasota County will offer sandbag filling stations form 2 to 7 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. to 4 .m. Tuesday at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota; Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, and the South County Fleet Maintenance Facility at 4571 State Road 776 in South Venice.

Shovels and sandbags will be provided. There is a 10-bag limit per vehicle.

Sarasota County Solid Waste pickup will be suspended Tuesday. The Sarasota County Landfill will also be closed Tuesday.

To receive regular text updates from Sarasota County, text SRQCOUNTY to 888777.

-- Earle Kimel

Takeaways from the latest update from the National Weather Service office in Ruskin:

Wind: Gusts over 115 mph at coast of Pinellas, Levy, Citrus, 50-80 mph elsewhere in Hurricane Warning area, which includes Sarasota and Manatee. There is an 84% probability of tropical storm winds in Sarasota, as early as 1 p.m. Tuesday but more likely by 7 p.m. In Manatee there is a 95% chance around roughly the same times. Coastal counties can expect tropical storm force winds to last for 18 to 24 hours: 50 mph, gusting to 75 mph north of Longboat Key; 40 gusting 60 mph in rain bands to the south. Winds should be departing Sarasota-Manatee around 6 to 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Surge: Widespread deep salt water flooding, possibly reaching several miles inland for the most impacted areas, which expected to be near Cedar Key. The Tampa Bay area is expected to see waters rise 4 to 7 feet above ground level, and in Sarasota County 3 to 5 feet. Charlotte and Lee: 2 to 4 feet.

Waters will begin to increase Tuesday night, possibly flooding coastal roads. The peak surge is expected onWednesday. The highest surge potential is on Wednesday near and after the eye wall passes and winds become onshore.

Rain: Flooding rain is possible in Sarasota and Manatee counties Tuesday evening and Wednesday in which small streams, canals, and ditches overflow. Rapid flooding of underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas, especially near coast at high tide.

Landfall: Expected in Florida Tuesday night or Wednesday around Cedar Key to Tampa, with forecast models clustering their expectations around Cedar Key, increasing the confidence the storm will make landfall north ofTarpon Springs.

-- Staff report

Sarasota County Library branches and the History Center will closed at 12:30 p.m. on Monday because of the storm.All library programs scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday were canceled. Due dates for materials currently checked out will be extended for one week to accommodate reduced hours. For more information including updated hours of operation, call 311 or visit the website at

Sarasota Schools will close traditional public schools for Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for Hurricane Idalia, the district announced Monday afternoon "out of an abundance of caution" and so that schools can serve as Evacuation Centers, according to an alert from the district.

Shelters in schools being used for that purpose will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, and include Atwater Elementary, Booker High, Brookside Middle, Fruitville Elementary, Gulf Gate Elementary, Heron Creek Middle, North Port High, Phillippi Shores Elementary, Riverview High, Southside Elementary, Taylor Ranch Elementary and Woodland Middle.

After school activities on Monday, Aug. 28, will take place as scheduled, the district said. More info is available at and

-- Steven Walker

The city of Venice has declared a state of emergency. This enables the city to request funds, resources and support at the county, state and federal levels.

Sandbag Operations

Sand is available, first-come, first-served at Wellfield Park, 1400 Lucaya Ave., Venice.Pick up bags at the Public Works building, 1350 Ridgewood Ave.; City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., or bring your own.Self service; shovels provided. Limit 10 bags per household.

Trash & Recycling Collections

Tuesday, Aug. 29 - There will be NO pickups of trash, recyclables or yard waste in the city on Tuesday, Aug. 29, as the Sarasota County landfill will be closed. Whether there will be collections on Wednesday will be announced.Thursday, Aug. 31 - TBD

Facility Closures

Monday, Aug. 28 - City Hall and other City buildings and services are operating normal business.Tuesday, Aug. 29 - Humphries Park and the South Jetty will be closed.

-- Staff report

New College of Florida, which just started its fall semester on Monday, will close Tuesday in anticipation of the hurricane, the college announced.

Classes were tentatively scheduled to resume on Wednesday, the release said.

-- Steven Walker

Bo Barber, a resident of Manatee County, recalled waiting until the last minute to prepare for Hurricane Ian — there hadn't been any sandbags left and he had to wait three hours at G.T. Bray Park. This year, he's preparing early.

Barber drove to Coquina Beach just after 9:30 a.m. to fill sandbags. He said that later in the day or tomorrow, there could be even more people stopping by. Barber used a 20-gallon bucket to help steady the bags as he shoveled the sand into them and even took a page from another resident's book who placed the bags up higher on the sand pile and shoveled from closer to the top instead of bending down to shovel from the bottom.

--Gabriela Szymanowska

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast update has resulted in a Storm Surge Warning being issued from Englewood north to the Ochlockonee River, including Tampa Bay.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued from the Middle of Longboat Key northward to the Ochlockonee River, including Tampa Bay.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from Chokoloskee northward to the Middle of Longboat Key, and from west of the Lockheed River westward to Indian Pass.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, according to the hurricane center. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:

Anclote River to Middle of Longboat Key, FL…4-7 ftTampa Bay…4-7 ftMiddle of Longboat Key to Englewood...3-5 ftEnglewood to Chokoloskee, FL…2-4 ftCharlotte Harbor…2-4 ft

On the forecast track, the center of Idalia is forecast to pass near or over western Cuba tonight, over the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday, and reach the Gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts. Idalia is forecast to become a hurricane later today and a dangerous major hurricane over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Wednesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center.

-- Staff report

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday, two Manatee County dump trucks pulled into Coquina Beach, a third still on route after its tire blew out on the way, according to one of the drivers.

The heat of the day was already rising as the sand was dumped in two piles, a few shovels and sandbags placed nearby. As the morning progressed, dark clouds could be seen unfurling over the Gulf, and an occasional rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance.

Community members trickled into the parking lot near the sand piles and began filling bags to take with them to place around their homes, businesses, and neighbor’s homes. By 10:30 a.m., some 20 or so people had stopped by to grab sandbags.

Alanna Massey and her husband, Fletcher Anderton, made the drive up from the north end of Longboat Key to fill bags with their 1.5-year-old daughter, Ivory.

Massey said their biggest concern is the storm surge and flooding, so their goal is to work all day placing sandbags around the home, bringing in patio furniture, and raising furniture.

The family will most likely leave depending on the direction the storm takes, as they don’t want to get stuck on the island because of the surge, Massey said. While the family had left about a week before Hurricane Ian swept across the area, returning to Arizona, the place they stayed at was fine. She hopes they’ll fare well this year too.

Dave Clement, 66, lives on the second level of a condo in Bradenton Beach but made the drive out to Coquina Beach to shovel sandbags for his downstairs neighbor who’s away.

Clement said he spoke with his neighbors this morning, and while it’s still unclear where the storm will hit, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Well I look at it this way, when you live in a condo association, you know, you’re all connected,” Clement said. “That’s how I look at it. You want to make sure your neighbor’s going to be okay.”

Clement, who’s from Erie, Pennsylvania, said when he first moved here and experienced Hurricane Irma, he hadn’t prepared until the last minute. This year, he’s prepared for whatever may come.

--Gabriela Szymanowska

Manatee County declared a state of local emergency and announced plans to open three emergency shelters as the community braces for the expectation that Tropical Storm Idalia could turn into a major hurricane before making landfall.

The county is opening emergency shelters at Virgil Mills, Miller, and Freedom Elementary schools at 2 p.m. on Monday.

"Today is a beautiful day in Manatee County, but of course, we are preparing for a Tropical Storm and eventually Hurricane Idalia," Chairman Kevin Van Ostenbridge said during Monday morning’s emergency meeting.

Acting County Administrator Charlie Bishop announced that the county is preparing as if Idalia could brew in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and turn into a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall.

"(It’s) expected currently to be a Cat 3 with 115 MPH sustained winds,” Bishop said. “The current arrival time for winds could potentially be around 7 p.m. tomorrow, but that is subject to change. There is the potential for flooding on coastal roads as early as tonight due to the high tides."

The landfill will remain open until 6 p.m. Transit will operate until conditions are unsafe for operation. Trash Pickup will cease after today and will not be operational on Tuesday or Wednesday. County government will shut down Monday at noon.

Manatee County also announced a Level A mandatory evacuation and a Level B voluntary evacuation.

The Piney Point underground injection well will also be stopped for the duration of the storm, according to officials at the former Piney Point fertilizer plant.

Manatee County has opened its self-serve sandbag stations at Manatee Beach at 4000 Gulf Drive; Coquina Beach at 2650 Gulf Drive; Bayfront Park at 310 North Bay Blvd.; Rubonia at 1309 72nd St E.; the 66th Street West fleet building at 4700 66th Street West; and Pride Park 6032 9th Street East.

The city of Bradenton has also made sandbags available at the Public Works Annex building at 1411 9th St. West to city residents as well, as long as they present a valid ID to verify residence.Residents can visit for up-to-date information including evacuation orders, location, and status of nearby shelters, to check their flood zone, and to register with the county if they have special medical needs in case an evacuation is necessary.

--Jesus Mendoza

The city of North Port is opening a self-serve sandbag station at 10 a.m. Monday at the Larry Thoennissen Athletic Fields behind the George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer way – at the end of City Center Boulevard.

Bags, sand and shovels will be provided and there is a limit of 10 bags per vehicle.

City officials urge residents to store those bags in a dry location out of the sun so they will be ready for future hurricanes or next hurricane season.

Do not place sandbags in garbage or storm drainage swales.

Levels of the Myakkahatchee Creek, the primary route for water through the city, are at 17.42 feet – lower than the typical average of 18.55 feet for this time of year.

North Port Public Works employees are continuing to lower levels citywide.

With the current forecast calling for localized roadway flooding, city officials do not anticipate widespread flooding.

Water may stay in swales for up to 72 hours from the last rainfall as the city’s stormwater system filters the water.

-- Earle Kimel

Manatee County declared a local state of emergency Monday morning, and public safety officials are announcing plans for evacuations, beginning with a MANDATORY Level A evacuation (including all mobile home parks) and VOLUNTARY Level B evacuation, effective at 2 p.m. today.

"We’re expecting significant storm surge along the barrier islands and coastal communities for Idalia, with the earliest arrival predicted for Tuesday,” said Manatee County Public Safety Director Jodie Fiske. “This is a very dangerous track that we all need to be aware of.”

Here is the information in a county news release:

COUNTY SHELTER LOCATIONS (opening at 2 p.m.):

Citizens with special needs who are not registered for this event are encouraged to immediately contact Manatee 3-1-1and provide their name and phone number.

CITIZEN’S INFORMATION CENTER (3-1-1)Manatee County’s 3-1-1 call center will be open and fully staffed 24/7 to field calls from citizens about sandbag locations, storm preparedness, evacuation levels and more.

COUNTY CLOSURESThe approach of the storm will change County operations beginning at noon today. Normal operations and duties will be suspended for County Employees to be reassigned during the emergency. There will be no yard waste or recycling collections on Tuesday, August 29, or Wednesday, August 30. Residents should monitor local media, the County's Website, and social media for updates. Manatee County Parks and Preserves will be closed until further notice. Manatee County Public Libraries will be closed until further notice. Manatee County Animal Welfare facilities will be closed until further notice. Manatee County’s Emergency Operations Center will also move to a Level One activation at 12 noon today.

SANDBAGSManatee County Public Works and Property Management Departments are providing sandbags (limit 10 per household) at numerous locations around Manatee County. Each self-service site opened at 9 a.m. today and will continue to operate as weather permits. Residents should plan to show an ID or Manatee County Utilities Department water bill indicating they are a resident of Manatee County. Visit for more information.

TRANSITAll Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) fixed-route Bus and Trolley service will be suspended Tuesday, August 29 (once winds reach tropical-storm force).

For more information about Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ManateeGov.

-Staff report

Sarasota Schools shared an update Sunday afternoon that said schools would be open as normal on Monday, and that the district was monitoring the storm.

District spokesman Craig Maniglia said an update could be expected later Monday afternoon.

In Manatee County, the district announced Monday morning that it will release students early from four schools as they prepare hurricane shelters. Nolan Middle School, Freedom Elementary School, Miller Elementary School and Mills Elementary School will dismiss students at noon Monday, and all after school programs were cancelled as well.

All other Manatee County schools were open as scheduled as of Monday morning, a district spokesperson said.

-Steven Walker

The Holmes Beach Police Department announced the agency will have empty sandbags available for residents and business owners at Manatee Beach, Coquina Beach, Bayfront Park, Rubonia, 66th ST W (non-ADA), and Pride Park starting at 9 a.m.

There will be a limited number of shovels available, so they're recommending to bring your own.

More Idalia coverage:Storm prep:What to BringPet Shelter RequirementsWhat to BringPet Shelter RequirementsPet Survival Kit for Pet-Friendly SheltersSandbag OperationsTrash & Recycling CollectionsFacility ClosuresCOUNTY SHELTER LOCATIONS (opening at 2 p.m.):Virgil Mills Elementary SchoolJesse P. Miller Elementary SchoolFreedom Elementary School3-1-1CITIZEN’S INFORMATION CENTER (3-1-1)COUNTY CLOSURESSANDBAGSTRANSIT