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Manatee County Commission declares state of emergency

Commissioners declare local state of emergency ahead of hurricane Dorian

MANATEE COUNTY – County Commissioners declared a local state of emergency today during a special meeting on Hurricane Dorian. The storm is forecast to bring up to three to four inches of rain and could result in local flooding along low-lying areas.

"Get your plan in place and start planning for what’s looking to be a rain event but could turn into wind as well," said acting Public Safety Director Jake Saur. "Weather impacts could begin as early as Sunday afternoon/evening lasting through Wednesday evening for West Central and southwest Florida."

Commissioners voted unanimously for the local state of emergency that will allow County staff to perform any emergency actions needed during the storm. There are no plans for an evacuation, but County residents should monitor the news and the County's social media pages for updates. Public Safety and Emergency Management officials will announce a handful of public shelters opening during a 1 p.m. press conference today at the Emergency Operations Center, 2101 47th Terrace E, Bradenton.

"We're looking at winds either equal to or greater than what we saw in (Hurricane) Irma," said Emergency Management Chief Steve Litschauer. "Public shelters will be open for those folks living in mobile homes, manufactured homes and RVs or in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. Shelters are uncomfortable though and should be a last option."

Manatee County Public Works will distribute sandbags today and tomorrow at four area locations from 8 a.m. to until 8 p.m.

Follow Manatee County on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov. Follow Manatee County Emergency Manage