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Minor Flooding Reported In Manatee, Sarasota Counties

man stands in front of American flag and monitor with hurricane track displayed
Sarasota County
Sarasota Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane

Teams from Manatee County surveying damage found minor flooding along the Myakka River and the barrier islands, where some turtle nests were affected.

Minimal damage was reported in Manatee and Sarasota counties from Elsa. The tropical storm — which was briefly upgraded to a hurricane overnight Tuesday — caused flooding on barrier islands. Heavy flooding was reported in North Port.

Wind gusts reached 54 miles per hour at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport overnight Tuesday.

Sarasota Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane said the county was lucky that Elsa started weakening offshore.

"Fortunately, Sarasota County was spared most of the impact," McCrane said during a Zoom meeting Wednesday. "It was a concerning storm — a lot of rainfall, a lot of wind, but this morning when the sun came up, we were able to see that very, very minimal damage in the county, a few downed trees, some flooded roads.

"North Port got the worst of it, as far as rains go."

Teams from Manatee County surveying damage found minor flooding along the Myakka River and the barrier islands, where some turtle nests were affected.

Officials reported no significant damage from the storm as of Wednesday morning, but there was enough of a storm surge for some possible minor beach erosion.

Inspectors at the closed Piney Point phosphate plant said they had enough capacity in the retention pond for heavy rains from Elsa. About 2.5 inches of rain were estimated to have fallen at Piney Point, which currently has more than 249 million gallons stored. That's up six million gallons from before the storm.

"Today, DEP inspectors were onsite to assess the conditions at the site," according to a statement from the state Department of Environmental Protection. "Water levels in the containment areas remain within safe operational levels and the stormwater system at the site continues to operate properly as designed. There were no spills or overflows of the containment areas as a result of the storm."

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