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Longboat offers sandbags for residents

Tropical Storm Laura could be passing through Gulf of Mexico early next week.

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  • | 1:26 p.m. August 21, 2020
The sandbag station at 100 Broadway Street is in the lot normally used for public beach parking.
The sandbag station at 100 Broadway Street is in the lot normally used for public beach parking.
  • Longboat Key
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With the path of Tropical Storm Laura forecast to head north through the Gulf of Mexico early next week, Longboat Key officials have set up a staffed sandbag station for residents this afternoon and again Saturday.

Residents may pick up 10 bags at the public parking lot at 100 Broadway Street. The lot, normally used for beach parking, remains off limits for beach use under emergency town orders.

The station is open through 3 p.m. today and will reopen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, though self-fill facilities are also available after hours. Staff at the station will ask for proof of residency.

Laura is forecast to take a course across the northern side of Hispanola and Cuba before curving to the north through the central Gulf of Mexico, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane by midday Monday.

Current guidance, which experts warn will likely change, indicates a potential landfall near Pensacola on Wednesday. No watches or warnings have been issued for Florida.

Town officials said updated information is available on the municipal website.

Manatee County Emergency Management Chief Steve Litschauer said Laura might bring strong winds, heavy rain and storm surge to Manatee County.

“We’re expecting tropical storm winds as early as Monday night or early Tuesday morning here,” Litschauer said in a press release. “There’s still a lot of uncertainty since Tropical Storm Laura is still so far out.  Residents should not focus attention on the cone of uncertainty but more on trends this far out. As Tropical Storm Laura moves closer to Florida, the cone and track will shift multiple times east and west.  


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