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A mile-long line of cars extends  from Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, around the high school into Lakewood Ranch Community Park as locals wait to receive free sandbags.
East County Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2017 3 years ago

Hurricane Irma — Lakewood Ranch digs in

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Hundreds fill sandbags at Lakewood Ranch Community Park.
by: Berkley Mason Staff Writer

Patience was a key as Nancy Lacey tried to prepare for the potential impact Hurricane Irma might have on her Rosedale Golf & Country Club home Wednesday. 

Dozens of people take their turn filling up bags with sand with hopes of avoiding flooding in their homes.
Dozens of people take their turn filling up bags with sand with hopes of avoiding flooding in their homes.

Lacey waited in line for three hours to fill 10 free sandbags at Lakewood Ranch Community Park. 

"I have a little bit of Harvey-itis — I am terrified, and I've lived in Florida for 40 years," Lacey said. "I'm worried about the winds being too strong, and being without electricity, which I've done before and do not want to do again. I just want to be prepared, just like everyone else." 

County employees estimated more than 1,000 people had picked up sandbags at Lakewood Ranch Community Park. At noon, a line of almost 100 cars remained. The county will continue to give 10 free sandbags per car until 6 p.m. and will start up again Thursday beginning at 9 a.m. and going through 6 p.m. 

A car sits loaded with sandbags in preparation for Hurricane Irma.
A car sits loaded with sandbags in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

The Country Club's Barbara and Tony Baldessari waited in line for over two hours to get their sandbags. 

"We aren't close to the water but we have a pond right in our backyard," Barbara Baldessari said. "We keep being reassured that we are not in a flood area, but this kind of storm does not play by the rules." 

Sandbags will continue to be given out on Friday starting at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Lakewood Ranch Community Park and additionally at Stormwater Ops, located at 5511 39th Street East, Bradenton. 

Shovels, sand and bags are provided at the distribution sites but recipients are required to shovel their own sand. 

 

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