The anticipated landfall of Tropical Storm Ida may have shifted away from the west coast of Florida, but Longboat Key officials are warning that residents need to be prepared for weather conditions that will affect the island this afternoon.
Winds out of the east, southeast at 15 to 25 mph — and gusting to 31 mph — with the onset of thunderstorms, are expected to begin this afternoon, according to Susan Phillips, pubic information officer and town manager assistant.
Thunderstorms will increase in severity on Tuesday and will continue through Wednesday morning.
“When traveling please be aware of the potential for street flooding and flooding in low-lying areas,” wrote Phillips in a press release issued on the town’s Web site. “There is increased potential for rip currents so beachgoers are asked to exercise caution. Beach erosion is also anticipated.”
Phillips asks residents to use Ida as a reminder that hurricane season is still in effect until the end of November.
“This serves as a reminder to our residents that the 2009 hurricane season is still not over,” Phillips wrote. “Citizens are encouraged to ensure that their disaster plan is in place, have pre-determined evacuation locations, although evacuations are not anticipated for this particular storm event, and to have adequate disaster supplies on hand.”
Current projections indicate that Ida will make landfall somewhere along the gulf coast between Alabama and the Florida Panhandle late Monday night. Ida is anticipated to encounter and merge with a cold front, as well as wind shear and cooler water temperatures, causing it to weaken significantly prior to landfall.
The Town’s website, www.longboatkey.org contains links to the National Hurricane Center, the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center and the Manatee County EOC. There are also links regarding how to strengthen your home against hurricane damage, and convenient disaster planning checklists.
Unless conditions change in anticipated impacts to Longboat Key, this will the last town update issued regarding Hurricane Ida.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.