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MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County Emergency Management officials urged Manatee County residents to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely in coming days and will ask County Commissioners to declare a local state of emergency tomorrow morning. Public Works crews will make sandbags available at four area locations tomorrow and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The sandbags will be available Friday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Aug. 31 at the following: G.T. Bray Park parking lot, Bennet Park, Lakewood Ranch Park and the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

The County's Citizen Information Center line, (941) 749-3547, will field calls from the public Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It is still too early to know exactly where the storm will track, but Dorian may bring high winds, heavy rain and possible flooding to Manatee County, said Emergency Management Chief Steve Litschauer. There are no plans yet for an evacuation or shelter openings, but County residents should monitor the news and the County's social media pages for updates.

"Now's the time for Manatee County residents to get their plan in place," said acting Public Safety Director Jake Saur. "(Dorian) will be a wind and rain event that will impact folks in mobile homes and low lying areas most. Our residents should plan to shelter in place at home and prepare to possibly be without power or water for a couple of days after the storm."

During a meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m., Public Safety officials will ask Commissioners to declare a local state of emergency in an abundance of caution before heavy rains this weekend. The declaration is the first step local officials must take to allow County staff to be prepared to make