Anna Maria declares state of emergency

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Handyman Mark Hrycyk and Jimmy Hart, an employee at White Egret, Anna Maria, board the store’s windows and doors Sept. 7. The doorway was lined with sandbags — all in prep for Hurricane Irma. Hart said the store owners left earlier in the day for a wedding. Islander Photo: Bianca Benedí

The city of Anna Maria declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irma during a meeting Sept. 6.

The declaration gave the mayor power to impose a curfew, shut down businesses and public areas, suspend or extend deadlines for contracts and documents, prohibit the sale of alcohol, prohibit the sale or transfer of gasoline and utilize up to $10,000 in emergency expenditures to prepare for the storm, among other powers.

Anna Maria residents were encouraged to pick up re-entry passes, collect sandbags and stock up on supplies ahead of Hurricane Irma.

The city ran out of sandbags Sept. 7, but more were anticipated later in the week.

Murphy said public works had moved half of its equipment to beneath the cell tower at city hall and the other half was moved to the Holmes Beach public works facility.

Commissioner Doug Copeland said, after the hurricane, the city should address the location of public works, which borders Lake LaVista canal and is vulnerable to winds and flooding.

“If we do have a direct hit, our public works isn’t going to be much help” if their equipment is blown away, Copeland said.

The Center of Anna Maria Island said Sept. 5 that the community center could serve as a post-hurricane shelter for residents whose homes are temporarily unsuitable and who need temporary shelter.

On Sept. 8, city hall closed down in order to accommodate the mandatory evacuation of the Manatee County emergency management map Zone A — all of Anna Maria Island.

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