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Schools, government offices to close Monday for Isaac

Anna Maria Island residents could begin to feel the effect of Tropical Storm Isaac as early as 5 p.m. today and lasting through Monday until 2 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

       Tropical force winds are expected to be intermittent as Isaac’s outer feeder bands — capable of producing tornados — bring heavy rains, thunderstorms and high winds.
       Storm surge is expected to be moderate with estimates at 3-5 feet.
       Tropical storm winds are categorized at 39 to 58 mph. Winds in excess of 40 mph are enough to break branches and cause problems for high-profile vehicles traveling on the roadways and bridges.
       Manatee County officials are encouraging residents to stay indoors and off the road during the storm event.
       County officials also are recommending a voluntary evacuation of those living in mobile home parks and other low-lying areas due to anticipated flooding issues caused by heavy rain.
       Manatee County shelters currently open include Manatee High School, 902 33rd St. Court W., Bradenton, and Braden River High School, 6545 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton.
       All Manatee County schools are closed Monday, as are Manatee County government offices, although the county’s Emergency Operations Center will remain active throughout the storm event.
       The Holmes Beach Police Department and dispatch office are open and distributing 10 free sandbags to any island resident for the asking. Sand is available in the city hall parking lot.
       Island government offices also will close and the county will suspend operations for the free island trolley and transit service at 6 p.m. today through Monday.
       Some sources indicate Monday’s garbage collection will be delayed on Anna Maria Island, but the schedule for Waste Management and WastePro could not be confirmed Sunday.
       At 11 a.m., the center of TS Isaac was moving west-northwest at 18 mph and is expected to continue in that direction over the next 48 hours.
       Maximum sustained winds of Isaac are presently near 65 mph — below hurricane strength.
Islander graphics/layout dept.

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