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Manatee reports more than $14.9M in damage from Hurricane Ian

All eight floors of Manatee County's administration building suffered water damage.

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  • | 11:15 a.m. September 30, 2022
  • East County
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In a Friday morning press conference, Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said preliminary reports say Hurricane Ian has caused more than $10.5 million in damage to residential homes and more than $4.4 million damage to commercial properties.

Hopes cautioned that the amounts are very preliminary and are expected to rise.

Among the damaged buildings was the Manatee County Administration building, which suffered damage to the northwest corner of its roof that led to water damage on all eight floors of the building.

Upper Manatee River Road west of Rye Road is expected to remain closed due to rising water for another two or three days.

The School District of Manatee County announced at 12:30 p.m. that it will be closed on Monday. He said district policies prevent school buses from picking up students when the county's intersections have traffic signals that are damaged or without power. As of Friday morning, Manatee County had 95 intersections that had signals that were either damaged or without power.

Among the main challenges for the county was the building of a road in Duette, which had four main wells inoperative due to power grid damage, to handle the heavy machinery needed to bring in generators.

Manatee County has sent assets farther south to assist those with critical needs.

"We want to manage the difference between conveniences and critical needs," Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge said. "And right now the focus, of course, is on critical needs.

"It could be a couple days — several days even — before your specific power is on."

Read more: 40% of FPL customers in Manatee without power

Many Manatee residents cannot afford generators, so "the lack of power has become a major health concern," Commissioner Reggie Bellamy said. "Individuals without power will need ice and water to avoid health issues along with losing perishable food. The need for nonperishable food supply will increase rapidly."

Hopes also noted waters in several East County rivers and streams won't crest for a couple days so to be aware of closed roads, such as the eastern end of Upper Manatee River Road, which is expected to be closed for several days.

He said Manatee County's 311 line received 9,000 calls on Thursday.

Manatee County's landfill is open free of charge for debris.

Manatee County's beaches remained closed but work crews were busy in the cleanup process on Friday.


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