Public safety officials from Sarasota as well as Manatee County had their eyes focused on Tropical Storm Ian named storm that is that is threatening the entire west coast of Florida. According to the most recent forecasts for the track of the storm the storm has the potential to strike the region, and it forms a cone to the possibility of landfall.
“This is the perfect time to kind of observe it. Be alert through local news channels and putting together your disaster supplies kit together. Keep calm and be aware of what you’ll take care of,” said Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane. “We do not want people to wait until it’s dark to put their emergency supplies together.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a emergency state in the entire state of Florida. The president Joe Biden has already authorized FEMA to distribute resources across 24 Florida counties including Sarasota and Manatee in danger of direct impacts. At the time of writing there was a Tropical storm warning and storm surge alert were in place starting from Englewood south.
However, it could be several days before the full impacts from the hurricane are felt in this region. Manatee as well as Sarasota school officials issued the decision on Sunday night to keep schools open today. They will continue to closely follow the storm’s progress to make decisions throughout the week.
The National Hurricane Center expects Ian to be able to sustain hurricane force winds this morning and will be a Category 4 hurricane at the point it passes across Western Cuba. It is expected to remain a major hurricane once it moves into the Gulf of Mexico, forecasts indicate, but it is expected to weaken as it travels towards West and Northwest Florida. However, forecasters at the Center remind us that models for forecasting when the storm is over Cuba reveal a lot of uncertainty regarding the path it will take and the extent.
The state officials also emphasized that even if the hurricane is less powerful the existence for a Category-4 storm within the Gulf could cause a significant storm surges along the coast of Florida even if winds reduce.
“No which path Ian chooses to follow there’s a possibility of hurricane-force winds, and heavy rain along the West Coast of Florida towards the mid-week,” reads a statement issued on Twitter by Manatee County emergency officials on Twitter.