Officials have made sandbags available and they encourage the public to make preparations now.
Manatee County commissioners today declared a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, expected to bring wind, heavy rain and possible flooding to the area.
Manatee County public safety officials said Manatee County will be elevated to Level 1 status, meaning there will be more people monitoring the storm.
Hurricane Dorian, expected to hit Florida’s east coast, is predicted to be a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph when it passes over the Bahamas on its approach toward Florida.
Manatee County is expecting heavy rains Sunday through Wednesday (Sept. 1-4).
“It’s looking like this is going to be a long slug and we’re in it for the long haul,” Public Safety Director Jake Saur said.
Manatee County is expecting to announce the opening of four shelters later Friday.
It already is making sandbags available today at four locations, including two East County sites at Tom Bennett Park (280 Kay Road, Bradenton) and at Lakewood Ranch Park (5350 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard).
Sandbags are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 30-31.
The county’s Citizen Information center also will field calls from the public Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Manatee County officials say it’s too early to know how Hurricane Dorian will track, but it could bring high winds, heavy rain and possible flooding to Manatee County.
"Now's the time for Manatee County residents to get their plan in place," Saur said in a press release. "(Dorian) will be a wind and rain event that will impact folks in mobile homes and low lying areas most. Our residents should plan to shelter in place at home and prepare to possibly be without power or water for a couple of days after the storm."
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