MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – With Tropical Storm Eta churning off the Gulf Coast Wednesday morning, Manatee County has issued a voluntary evacuation effective immediately for island communities and low-lying areas.
Eta is holding steady about 145 miles south-southwest of Tampa. At 1 p.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, making it a strong tropical storm.
The storm has forced a number of closures and cancellations in the Tampa Bay area.
Public school buildings in Manatee County will be closed on Thursday and Friday, and students will transition to remote learning.
The county plans to open emergency shelters at Manatee High School and Mills Elementary.
Sandbags are also available to be residents, and can be picked up at the Public Works Annex, 1411 9th St. W. in Bradenton.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, essential workers among list of TIME Person of the Year reader poll nominees
- Despite pleas from health officials, AAA expects 50 million to travel this Thanksgiving
- Michael Jordan donates $2M from ‘The Last Dance’ proceeds to Feeding America
- CDC estimates only 1/8th of infections caught
- New emergency order from DOE not coming before Thanksgiving