Manatee County will launch a full activation of the Emergency Operations Center Sunday morning and officials are urging some residents to be prepared to evacuate.
Manatee Emergency Operations officials said tonight that the storm may strengthen once it reaches the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and it could become a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall along the Florida panhandle on Tuesday.
Manatee operations chief Steve Simpson said the storm moved west again and remains unpredictable as it churns in the Caribbean. It could bring a storm surge of up to 3-to-5 feet by Tuesday or Wednesday. There is the possibility of high surf and rip currents on Sunday.
"Isaac will probably be a Category 1 hurricane about 120 miles west of Manatee County, but it can get closer or farther away," Simpson said. "We will see significant rains. It's a very wide storm and we're expected to see the onset of tropical force winds around 7 p.m. Sunday through 5 a.m. Tuesday."
Manatee schools will be closed Monday. Trash collection has been suspended on Monday for residents in unincorporated Manatee County.
Manatee County Public Works will allow Manatee residents to fill up to 10 sand bags per household on Sunday and Monday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following distribution points:
- Buffalo Creek Golf Course, 8100 69th St. E., Palmetto
- , 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W.
- Lakewood Ranch Park, near Lakewood Ranch High School
- 39th St. Stormwater Facility, 5511 39th St. E.,
- Rubonia Community Center, 1309 72nd St. E., Palmetto
Special needs clients were notified today that they may need to evacuate Sunday. The Lake Manatee elevation is just under 38 feet. Residents within the Lake Manatee spillway have been notified that they may need to evacuate Sunday.
A list of preparedness tips is available at www.mymanatee.org/hurricane.