Hours before Hurricane Hermine made landfall, the ditches in Rubonia were flooding, especially along 70th Street Court East near Bayshore Road.
Leroy Bostic, who was raised in Rubonia, stood outside a home along the street looking at the flooding, which poured over from the ditches and onto the driveway. Sandbags were lined up near the front door to prevent the water from coming inside.
“Hopefully it gets no worse than what it is,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, Bostic was a couple streets over at the Rubonia Community Center with his brother, Hollis, who now lives in Bradenton. They were bracing for more rain and flooding caused by the storm.
“The fact that the land is already saturated and once the tide comes in, it will flood again even if we don’t get as much rain,” Hollis Bostic said.
Manatee County public works crews were outside the Rubonia Community Center handing out more sandbags. Crews at the center, which is one of five locations in the county, distributed bags until 7 p.m. Thursday.
“We are filling sandbags for anybody that needs the sandbags to put around their house and doors for blockage so water won’t seep in,” said Bert Cooper with the county’s public works department.
When Morris Goff left the Rubonia Community Center at 9 p.m. Wednesday, residents were still trying to get sand as the neighborhood prepared for Hurricane Hermine.
“Yesterday was our worst day,” Goff said as he stood outside the community center Thursday morning. “The water had crested and it was about to go into the streets. I left at 9 and people were still here trying to get sand because they thought it would keep rising.”
The rainy conditions caused a roof leak at the Rubonia Community Center, according to Goff. The county was already planning to replace the roof as part of a second phase of renovations to the center. The county started work there in June, with plans to complete the project this fall.
“We don’t want them to lose that work because of leaks,” Goff said. “A lot of people out here are afraid water will rise again.”
Sandbag distribution 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.
- Stormwater Operations, 5511 39th St. E., Bradenton
- Rubonia Community Center, 1309 72nd St. E., Palmetto