Suncoast to begin to dig out after Ian

Crews across the Suncoast will be out at first light to assess damage after Hurricane Ian...
Crews across the Suncoast will be out at first light to assess damage after Hurricane Ian rolled through Wednesday.(WWSB-TV)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 3:52 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Suncoast is preparing to dig out Thursday, hours after Hurricane Ian made landfall.

Florida Power & Light reported at 3 a.m. Thursday that more than 600,000 customers are without power in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

Manatee County

Manatee County’s “First-In” teams will begin clearing emergency routes Thursday morning and has authorized county staff to start conducting damage assessments.

Infrastructure, including water and wastewater systems are being inspected. Citizens are asked to stay off the roads until local officials deem they are safe, officials said.

Fuel is being delivered to three shelters to fuel generators at Braden River High School, Lee Middle School and Bayshore Elementary School.

Utilities crews are mobilizing to help restore wastewater service. More than 200 lift stations were off-line across the county due to power outages—more than 28% of the system, the county noted.

Crews will deploy generators to get those lift stations operational again, starting with master lift stations.

Sarasota County

In Sarasota County, most of the attention is turning to the south, where North Port and Venice are waking up to significant damage.

The entire city of North Port is under a boil water notice. For a minimum of the next three days, residents will need to boil water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc., should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute.

Residents should continue to boil water for consumption until the order is rescinded.

As the city’s overnight curfew lifts, crews are deploying to clear roadways. First responders are prioritizing emergency calls, officials said.

In Venice, the city has restored potable water service, but a island residents are still required to boil water, or use bottled ­water, for consumption purposes until the boil water advisory has been rescinded after a minimum of 72 hours. Residents will be notified via the Alert Sarasota County phone notification system.

Utilities customers in every Suncoast community are encouraged to continue to conserve water if possible.