Update: Sarasota police reported this morning that all roads and bridges are open again, but warned drivers that areas of standing water still exist on roads. Officers advise drivers take extreme caution when navigating through standing water.
Previously: Travel to and off the barrier islands in the city of Sarasota is being restricted to just residents and emergency traffic because of Tropical Storm Eta, the Sarasota Police Department announced tonight.
The traffic restrictions are in place for the John Ringling Causeway and the New Pass Bridge, the SPD said in a Twitter post at 7:21 p.m. Ahead of the intersection of U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue, police are diverting all other northbound traffic from U.S. 41 onto Main Street and southbound traffic from U.S. 41 onto Fruitville Road.
SPD spokesperson Genevieve Judge said the department issued the closures because of flooding on the barrier islands. Judge said officers on both bridges will be directing drivers to turn around if they’re not residents.
Both the police department and the city of Sarasota encouraged residents to stay indoors if at all possible.
“We're just asking folks if they don't have to be out to please stay home until the storm passes,” Judge said.