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County schools to close Monday, preparation for TS Isaac urged

The Manatee County Commission met at 3:30 p.m.

Aug. 25 at the Emergency Operations Center to declare a state of local emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac. The declaration allows the implementation of emergency plans and procedures.

The Manatee County Public Schools also announced Saturday that all public schools in the district will be closed Monday, Aug. 27, due to the threat posed by Isaac.

Three district schools have been designated emergency shelters and will open at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

The three shelters are:
• Nolan Middle School, 6615 Greenbrook Blvd., Bradenton. Special needs, pet friendly.
• Manatee High School, 1000 32nd St. W., Bradenton. Pet friendly.
• Braden River High School, 6545 State Road 70 E., Bradenton.

Meanwhile, the Manatee Emergency Operations Center is at a partial activation with emergency management officials closely monitoring the path of thestorm.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Tropical Storm Isaac was about 610 miles southwest of the mouth of Tampa Bay, moving northwest at 310 degrees at 21 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Florida Keys. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Manatee County.

Tropical storm conditions are possible on Monday, including thunderstorms, high temperatures near 86 and a heat index of 97, and a southeast wind as high as 32-37 mph with gusts up to 47 mph.

According to the Florida Emergency Email & Wireless Network, the chance for hurricane conditions is “very small,” but the chance for tropical storm conditions is up to 69 percent for Manatee County.

Emergency Management Chief Laurie Feagans continued to urge Manatee residents to prepare for strong winds, rain and flooding on Monday as Isaac passes the Gulf coast.

The storm is projected tobecome a hurricane Sunday and Manatee is within a Tropical Storm warning area, according to the National Hurricane Center.“We need to take this storm seriously, so Manatee residents need have their family disaster plans in order,” Feagans said.

She said to have a disaster supply kit prepared.

Purchase any needed items you don’t already have. In addition, she said, clear your yard of lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles, trash cans and other items that could become airborne in strong winds. Leave swimming pools chlorinated and cover the filtration system, lower the water level to accommodate heavy rains, but do not drain the pool.

A list of preparedness tips is available at www.mymanatee.org/hurricane and a storm-ready publication with tips for preparing your family, home and boat can found at www.islander.org.

Updates will be posted to Manatee County’s Facebook page and Twitter, as well as The Islander newspaper Facebook page.

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