- September 8, 2016
Longboat Key survived Hurricane Hermine with no reports of home flooding despite absorbing at least 16 inches of rain over two days, according to Town Hall officials.
"Overall, we fared pretty well compared to our neighbors farther north," said Town Manager Dave Bullock. "We had normal street flooding associated with heavy rains and high tides. There was some beach erosion. We will be doing an assessment to see how significant that is and time will tell if any lost sand is recovered with normal wave action like we saw with Tropical Storm Colin."
"We lost some sand. We're doing measurements now trying to determine how much we lost. You can’t look at it when the ocean is really rough. How much? I don’t think we lost a bunch.”
Juan Florensa, Longboat Key public works director
Dredging resumed Sunday on the $5 million beach renourishment job at New Pass after a seven-day lull caused when Norfolk Dredging Co. of Chesapeake, Va., had to tow its multimillion-dollar dredge to safe harbor as the storm passed.
"We’re pumping away. Hopefully we won’t have any more interruptions," Florensa said. "We are lucky. The contractors have plenty of time to finish the project. The work will get done within the allotted contract time."
Residents did have some home cleanup chores.
"I had to clean up vegetative debris from the balcony and pool deck," said Susan Phillips, assistant to the town manager, who lives near Town Hall. "We had to clean all the salt spray and clippings off windows. It was everywhere. As soon as the lawn-care people put the lawn back in order, however, it will be like it never happened."
The Longboat Key Police Department was never impeded by flooded roads, according to Police Chief Pete Cumming.
"We didn't have any problem with (mobility)," Cumming said Tuesday. "Only a couple places on (Gulf of Mexico Drive) had a couple of inches of standing water. We had some issues in the village.
"We had no increase in any criminal activity. Everything seemed to have been quiet. Nothing to report in terms of criminal activity or injuries."
Island infrastructure performed properly, too. Bullock issued an early report Friday after the storm had passed.
"The waste water system has performed well with a couple lift station issues but no discharges of untreated water at this time. The potable water system experienced no impact," Bullock reported. "Sewer lift stations experienced high flow levels and operated throughout the day and night with higher pump run-times than average, however, the system maintained integrity, and experienced no effluent overflows.
"One lift station experienced intermittent power losses throughout the evening, but had power enough to pump down the wet well sufficiently as required. Station location will be reported to FPL for monitoring. Public Works Utilities staff maintained a precautionary presence on site overnight due to high levels of wastewater flow in case of an emergency, however, no emergency occurred."
Two days after rainy Hurricane Hermine doused Longboat Key and helped cause some outages, Florida Power and Light personnel had restored power to the last 4,480 customers in the dark in Sarasota and Manatee counties, according to a spokesman.
Hermine continued to shed bands of rain and severe thunderstorms in the area on Friday even after making landfall far to the north in the Panhandle.
“Our crews worked as long as it was fit to do so,” said Chris McGrath of FPL on Friday. “There are still some customers without power. We know there is still a lot of work to do.”
Full power was restored Saturday, Sept. 3, according to FPL.
The problem was much larger Thursday when 25,550 homes and businesses in Sarasota and Manatee counties were blown offline, including an undetermined number on Longboat Key where downed trees became an issue.
“Our public works crews and police continue to monitor the effects of the storm,” said Bullock in an email Friday morning. “We have cleared several downed trees and limbs from roads and storm drains.”
An estimated 1,847 Manatee County customers and 2,633 accounts in Sarasota were still dark as of 10 a.m. Friday. Of 1,488,860 accounts in Florida, power has been restored to all 66,080 affected customers, according to FPL.
The storm affected local air and road travel. The Anna Maria Island Trolley, Beach Express and Longboat Key Trolleys did not run Friday. The trolley has resumed operations.
Longboat Key Waste Management reported impassable streets Friday at St. Jude’s, North and South, Gulf Bay Road, Tarawitt, Jungle Queen and Companion Way pushed waste pickup to Tuesday.
During the stormy weather, some other Manatee and Sarasota county roads were under water, too. In Manatee, many manhole covers came loose making standing water especially dangerous for drivers.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport canceled at least two flights as Hurricane Hermine rumbled north Friday.
American Airlines flights to and from Charlotte and Washington, D.C., were canceled Thursday and Friday.
Tampa International canceled three flights and delayed 42 on Friday.
Manatee County Area Transit routes resumed at 7 a.m. Friday with some expected delays and detours. Paratransit service also resumed at 7 a.m. for essential medical appointments.