- September 26, 2022
The town of Longboat Key issued an update for its residents as Hurricane Ian approaches landfall near Englewood on Tuesday afternoon as a strong Category 4, bordering Category 5.
The update read that the town is hopeful that the shift in landfall predictions will lessen local hurricane impacts, but still foresees strong tropical storm force conditions. Significant rainfall coupled with storm surge of as much as 6 to 10 feet will lead to flooding, which will likely take time to subside.
Read more: Hurricane Ian updates, news in Sarasota and Manatee counties
Since Tuesday, the town’s Emergency Management Team has been at the Sarasota County Emergency Operation Center coordinating efforts.
The town’s emergency personnel, including the fire and police departments have evacuated the island.
Damage assessment teams are off-island and will return when storm conditions lessen in intensity. The team will perform initial damage assessments, evaluate town facilities, roadways, flooding conditions and power outages. The team will determine when it is safe to begin a tiered re-entry to the island, beginning with owners and operators of key businesses, then residents with ID.
Restoration of water and wastewater systems will need to be coordinated with Manatee County, the town said.
Residents, whether or not they have evacuated the island, are urged to remain off roadways. Flooding conditions are expected to persist and can cause scoured out roadways, resulting in dangerous conditions.
Once conditions are safe, the town will commence its three-tiered re-entry process.
The first tier includes initial damage assessment, the town’s police, fire and public works departments. Following evaluation of the island, teams will help reopen roadways that may be impacted by downed trees. This initial tier occurs as soon as it is safe to travel on roadways.
Once tier two access is authorized, property managers, insurance offices and officials, commercial property owners and managers will be able to access the island to assess damages and safety hazards on large properties. These representatives will need ID and will be screened prior to being allowed on the island.
Following the tier two assessment, the town’s emergency management team will authorize access for tier three. Tier three access will allow residents and property owners with appropriate ID onto the island and to inspect their properties.
The re-entry plan is managed by the town’s police department and is further outlined on the town’s website. Notifications for resident re-entry will be done by website and the Alert Longboat Key emergency notification system.