After feeder bands from Hurricane Hermine ripped through Manatee County last week, the water in Anne Hartley’s home was above her knees.
“This was very devastating to me and my family,” Hartley said of the flooding at her Bradenton home. “Our house is a total wreck.”
Hurricane Hermine not only caused approximately five inches of water inside her house but also flooding outside, Hartley told commissioners Tuesday as county officials gave an update about the first hurricane that made landfall in Florida in 10 years.
With Federal Emergency Management Agency in Manatee County this week as well as other agencies, the assessment of the storm’s damage in the county continues. To date, the county has completed 150 primary damage assessments and 340 man-hours have been dedicated to this effort so far, said Jeff Camden with Manatee County.
“We did experience a tremendous amount of flooding,” he said Tuesday. “Fortunately minimal wind damage but the flooding was the largest impact so far.”
Hurricane Hermine marked the second storm this season to effect Manatee County. Tropical Storm Colin’s “substantial rain” also impacted the county but that was “nothing compared to Hermine,” according to Don Hermey, the county’s Emergency Management chief. Anna Maria Island received 12.5 inches of rain, west Palmetto received 9.82 inches and the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport received 9.38 inches.
“Phenomenal amounts of rain and had nothing to do with wind,” Hermey said. “This was actually just a feeder band. We did get a major feeder band sitting over the top of us for an extended period of time that just stalled. Here we’ve had two storms this year which were not direct impacts. It was all about feeder band rains and it is something we’re going to be going back and taking a look at within our own procedures, our own processes.”
The biggest challenge the community now has is patience, Hermey said.
“Getting the teams in here, getting the declarations particularly a presidential declaration unless it’s a major catastrophic it does not occur overnight,” he said. “It is going to take time and FEMA is working extremely hard. Every visit that they make they are getting closer to their numbers.”