When the winds died down, our Tactical First in Teams began initial assessments overnight and determined there are over 200 locations with some level of damage. Then early this morning, additional teams were dispatched to start cutting downed trees and clearing road hazards to ensure safe travel lanes. By all accounts, we were fortunate. Damage appears to be limited to numerous large trees and some utility lines.
As far as City assets, the water and wastewater systems held up well with no problems at the lift stations. Toppling trees caused multiple water line breaks, which Utilities crews are in the process of locating and repairing. Prior to evacuations for the barrier islands, water was shut off Tuesday evening to protect the distribution system and resources. Water was restored by 1 p.m. Thursday with a boil water advisory in effect for the barrier island until at least 1 p.m. Saturday. All impacted customers have been notified.
The roof on the Payne Park Auditorium peeled back during the high winds and further assessment will be required.
Unlike previous years, the U.S. 41-Gulfstream Ave. roundabout construction area did not flood. St. Armands and Lido Key stayed dry and appear to be in good condition.
We’re unsure how extensive the power outages are within the city specifically, but as of midday Thursday, almost 192,000 customers in Sarasota County were without electricity. Florida Power & Light and utility crews dispatched from many other states are working diligently to restore power. We do not have a timeline at this writing when restoration may occur in the city.
Customers can report power outages and check for updates from FPL at https://www.fpl.com/storm.html or call 1-800-4OUTAGE (800-468-8243). View FPL’s Power Tracker for a map of outages: https://www.fplmaps.com/
City crews are already removing toppled trees in parks, streets and rights-of-way. To report a downed tree or other storm damage, please submit a service request via Click-2-Fix or call the following numbers and a crew will be dispatched to assess the situation.
- Public Works: Debris/downed trees: 941-263-6793 or after hours at 941-263-6450
- Utilities: Water main break - 941-263-6884
Please note: The City will not remove trees on private property.
Also, if you need a police report if you or someone you know needs a police report for damage from Hurricane Ian within the City of Sarasota, you can request it through www.SarasotaPD.org
Storm debris collection
During our Hurricane Ian preparations, we reached out to our storm debris contractors and ensured they would be in position and ready to begin operations following the storm. At this writing, we are working with contractors to establish a collection schedule. Please be patient. As soon as a schedule is established, we will share it here, on social media and the City’s website.
Until the contractor starts collecting, the City will pick up yard waste placed in bags or containers as part of regular waste collection. Piles of unbagged storm debris should be placed curbside for collection by the storm debris contractor in the near future.
Again, please be patient. Those who lived through Hurricane Irma five years ago may recall storm cleanup extended over several months due to the many impacted communities vying for limited resources.
Thursday’s suspended trash, recycling and yard waste pickups will be collected Friday, Sept. 30. Regularly scheduled Friday collections will be deferred to Saturday.
Trolley and e-scooters
Earlier this week, Veo, the City’s vendor that offers e-scooter and bicycle rentals, collected its vehicles from the streets in preparation for Hurricane Ian. When the roads are cleared, Veo will be notified that the vehicles can return. Service for the Bay Runner, the City’s free trolley that goes between downtown and Lido Beach, will resume soon as well.
City administrative offices will remain closed through Friday, Sept. 30. We plan to reopen for regular business on Monday, Oct. 3. A regular City Commission meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at City Hall.