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Rain kept Sarasota firefighters busy

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  • | 4:15 p.m. June 12, 2024
  • Sarasota
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The recent rains have kept Sarasota County Fire Department personnel busy, data released Wednesday show.

Between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 8 p.m. Wednesday, first responders answered 282 total calls for service, 100 more calls than the daily average.

Some of the calls were from people in their cars trapped by rising water, according to Sarasota Fire Department Assistant Chief Tim Dorsey.

“The good news is they weren’t in danger,” he said, explaining that most were in stationary water and unlikely to move.    

“The good thing to know about floodwater is, it rains and the water goes up. When it stops raining, the water recedes,” he said. 

That being said, Dorsey cautioned about trying to drive through standing water on a roadway. 

If you’re approaching floodwater in your vehicle, “don’t drive through that water,” Dorsey said. “You don’t know how deep it is. It might look to be 6 inches deep, but the road might be undermined. It might be five or 6 feet deep.” 

In that same 24-hour period, the Sarasota County Fire Department responded to 144 non-EMS incidents, 47 of which were flood-related. They included:

  • Vehicle in floodwater: 43
  • Fire alarms: 39
  • Wires down-Arching: 15
  • Fire — public service: 13
  • Traffic crash: 13
  • Alarm — local audible: 6
  • Elevator rescue: 3
  • Fire — unknown situation: 2
  • Marine rescue: 2
  • Odor of smoke inside: 2
  • Sinking vehicle: 2
  • Alarm — carbon monoxide: 1
  • Brush fire — small: 1
  • Fire — commercial: 1
  • Fire — outside: 1


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