The strength of Tropical Depression 9 is still an unknown factor as the center of the storm deals with wind shearing as it begins a slow turn to the north and then northwest with an anticipated landfall well north of the Manatee County area. However, much of the severe weather is to the storm’s southeast.
Forecasters believe the storm’s effects in Manatee County will be similar to that of Tropical Storm Colin that brushed through the area in June, flooding several local streets. The National Hurricane Center reports that warm water over the Gulf of Mexico still awaits the system, and strengthening is possible before it makes landfall.
Bradenton Public Works Director Jim McLellan said city workers spent Monday and Tuesday clearing storm drain inlets to allow for “unrestricted flow of water into the storm sewer systems throughout the city.”
The city of Bradenton will distribute sandbags to the public at the public works annex, 1411 Ninth St. W., beginning from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday with a limit of 10 per resident.
Palmetto Public Works Director Allen Tusing said his department will open at 7 a.m. Wednesday at 600 17th St. W. for residents to pick up sandbags. Supplies are limited to 10 per resident.
“Right now we are just trying to make sure the storm drains are open,” Tusing said. “We are expecting more than normal rains, so we have all of our equipment fueled up.”
Tusing said public works will likely shutter the historic Carnegie Library that has had a history of rain leaking through its windows as a precaution.
“Other than that, we just want to encourage all residents to keep an eye on the weather channels,” he said. “Storms can change and we are just keeping our fingers crossed that it moves even further north keeping us on the fringe of all that rain.”
The Manatee County Public Works Department also will distribute sandbags on Wednesday. Sandbags can be obtained from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:
- Buffalo Creek Park, 7550 69th St. E., Palmetto
- G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton
- Lakewood Ranch Park, 5350 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton
- Stormwater Ops, 5511 39th St. E., Bradenton
- Rubonia Community Center, 1309 72nd St. E., Palmetto