On Wednesday night, with Tropical Storm Eta headed toward Florida’s Gulf Coast, officials in Sarasota closed streets, restricted access to the barrier islands, warned of flooding and urged residents to stay inside if at all possible.
By Thursday morning, after the storm made landfall to the north in Cedar Key, the city of Sarasota reported that all its major roads were opened and much of the flooding had receded.
City staff worked today to respond to and assess Eta’s impact.
The city’s public works and parks and recreation staff were clearing sidewalks and streets of debris, city spokesperson Jason Bartolone said, with both departments evaluating the damage associated with the storm. Bartolone listed Hart’s Landing as a specific site where officials were assessing possible damage from unmoored boats.
City police also alerted drivers Wednesday afternoon to a possible road washout near the intersection of Madison Drive and North Washington Drive adjacent to St. Armands Circle. Police said the area was barricaded and Public Works Department personnel would address the road damage.
The city asked residents to report any flooding damage from Eta by emailing [email protected]. The city said staff may be available to help assess homes, document damage and answer questions for owners. Documenting damage could help determine eligibility for state and federal disaster funding should it become available, and the information helps guide the city’s flood mitigation strategy, according to a release.
Some portions of Sarasota County reportedly saw more than 6 inches of rainfall Wednesday, the city said in the release. The city also noted that portions of Lido Key saw significant road flooding. On Thursday, some flooding remained in the parking lot at Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach.
Sarasota County crews responded to several sewer-related problems during the storm, the county said in a news release.
Overflows were reported at Higel Avenue on Siesta Key in which 400 gallons of sewage spilled, 100 gallons of which was recovered from the street and near Riverview High, where about 800 gallons of sewage spilled on the surrounding lift station grounds. All the sewage was absorbed, and no recovery was possible, the county said.