Bradenton Beach battens down hatches

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Bridge Street Interiors/Mermaid Haven owner Deb Myers acknowledged her fear of Hurricane Irma Sept. 7 as she and husband Matthew helped others. Matthew nailed boards in the windows of neighboring businesses in Bradenton Beach as Deb assisted. The Myers have seen other hurricanes hit the state — but not one the size of Irma. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

As Bradenton Beach prepared for Hurricane Irma, Vice Mayor John Chappie noted, “This is not our first rodeo.”

Bradenton Beach officials and staff held a special meeting Sept. 6 to approve a declaration of emergency from Mayor Bill Shearon as Hurricane Irma drew closer to the tip of Florida.

The declaration suspended normal activities, allowing public works and the police department to perform storm preparation tasks.

Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby briefed city officials on the storm status and emergency management plans. He said public works was boarding up buildings and had threaded cable through the dolphin pilings alongside the Historic Bridge Street Pier to prevent rogue vessels from crashing into the structure.

“The department heads are all in emergency management mode,” Cosby said. “We’ve done this before.”

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