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Storm watch posted from Anna Maria north

Longboat Key offers sandbags to residents in advance of Hurricane Michael's passage.

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  • | 8:37 a.m. October 8, 2018
  • Longboat Key
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A tropical storm watch extends from Anna Maria Island to the Suwanee River this morning in connection with the forecast path of Hurricane Michael, expected to strike the panhandle midweek with Category 2 winds of 100 mph.

Locally, the possibility of rain and gusty winds will be on the increase through Thursday, but direct effects from the tropical system in the gulf are not expected along the Sarasota County coast, though surf is expected to build. The National Weather Service also has posted a storm surge watch from Anna Maria north to the Suwanee River. Surge of 2-4 feet is possible north to Anclote Island, at the Pasco-Pinellas border, and higher to the north.

On Sunday, Sarasota County Emergency Services Director Ed McCrane advised everyone in the area to monitor the storm and be prepared to take “protective measures’’ if necessary.

Longboat Key posted on its website that sand and bags would be available for its residents beginning Monday afternoon at the Broadway Street Beach Access. Additionally, the town wrote: "Hurricane Michael will bring water levels 1-2 feet above our normal +2 high tides over the next two days. Although Longboat Key is not forecast for landfall, high winds, and rainfall of 2”-4” will impact this area consistent with tropical storm features, through Wednesday.  Please exercise extreme caution with driving through standing water, and do not drive through any posted flooded streets."

In the latest batch of advisories from the National Hurricane Center, indications are heavy rain is possible from the storm this week, with a marginal risk of flash floods. About a 20-30% chance of tropical storm force winds (39 mph or more for 1-plus minutes) is possible in the area. A hurricane watch is posted for the majority of the Big Bend and Panhandle of Florida. 




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