At its Tropical Storm Elsa update on Monday afternoon, Sarasota County Emergency Services declared a local state of emergency—a purely administrative move to allow the county to begin contracting for services if needed, according to Ed McCrane, the emergency management chief.

As of Monday, Sarasota County was not planning to evacuate any residents or open any shelters. All Sarasota County offices will be closed July 6 as the emergency center monitors the effects of the storm. SCAT service, parks reservations and summer camp programming are also suspended, along with solid waste collection and landfill operations. Libraries will be closed, and no lifeguards will be on duty.

The City of Sarasota also declared a state of emergency on Monday afternoon. The regular Sarasota City Commission meeting is canceled; however, the commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 7, will proceed as planned. Tuesday garbage, recycling and yard waste collection also is canceled and is not rescheduled at this time. Residents are advised to visit SarasotaFL.gov or follow the City’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor for updates.

A local state of emergency provides cities and counties with more flexibility regarding expenditures and allocating resources, which may be necessary due to storm surge, localized street flooding and the potential for wind damage caused by strong wind gusts and tornadoes.

Manatee County declared a local state of emergency on July 4. An emergency shelter will open at Manatee High School on Tuesday, July 6 at 8 a.m. for those who live in mobile homes, low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding. This is a non-mandatory evacuation and the shelter is pet-friendly.

Sandbag distribution is available on Tuesday to residents at the Public Works Annex. Distribution will take place Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents are instructed to use 13th Ave. W. to enter into the area behind the Annex, located at 1411 9th St. W. and at the following locations:

  • Self-serve distribution site (bags and sand provided) Public Works Department Stormwater Facility, 5511 39th St. E. Bradenton, 34203
  • Full-service distribution site at GT Bray Park (parking lot), 5502 33rd Ave. Drive, W. Bradenton, 34209
  • Pre-made sandbag distribution site at Manatee Beach Parking Lot, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 34217

Residents must show ID or present a Manatee County Utilities Department water bill proving Manatee County residency to receive sandbags.

Manatee County’s 311 call center will be open to field calls from the public about sandbag locations or storm preparedness questions and will remain open throughout the evening. For updates, residents of Manatee County are advised to visit mymanatee.orgFacebook, or Twittter accounts, or sign up for Alert Manatee to receive call, text or email alerts.

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