Tag Archives: Advisories

How to Survive Hurricane Season on Anna Maria Island

There’s more to surviving hurricane season than knowing how and when to evacuate. Even in summers without any significant hurricanes coming near the island, I have noticed that hurricanes still interfere with life, and cause stress.

We usually are very lucky to get plenty of warning about every major storm of the season. The tracking begins very early, when they still are far from Florida. Although this early warning can save lots of lives, it also wears on the nerves, as we pay attention to every single storm for days and days. There’s usually a storm somewhere, so this means we are looking at storms and worrying about the results for most of the summer. If nothing else, it is distracting and tiring.

From June through October, we tend to obsess about watching tropical updates on the local news channel and on the Weather Channel, at ten minutes before the hour. Then there are all the programs about storm disasters. It’s enough to make you nervous even if no storm comes your way.

Anna Maria Island beach Then, if it looks like a storm might be coming your way, life is interrupted even more. At our house, we begin to pay attention to how many bottles of water we have, and to how much canned and dried food. If the predicted cone-shaped path of the hurricane continues to include Anna Maria Island, we then start organizing our important possessions. We make sure we have enough plywood for the windows. In the years before we had a mainland evacuation destination, we also would look around for motels on the mainland, and often we’d make a reservation just in case we needed it. The problem is that it’s sometimes difficult to know, ahead of time, exactly which nights you might need that reservation. And you might not need it at all. But if you wait, the motels will be full and there is the risk of having nowhere to go.

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The Bridge to Old Florida is Open Again

Anna Maria Island seems to have survived the closure of one of its three bridges for 37 days. The maintenance and repair job was done faster than the projected 45-day project that had been planned. As islanders heave a sigh of relief, it is interesting to look back at the whole issue of bridges and how this is linked to life and business on an island.

Anna Maria sound bridge

The people who have chosen to retire on beautiful Anna Maria Island have chosen Old Florida over the more common new development that lines most of Florida’s coast. For Old Florida to exist there has to be something “missing,” in terms of accessibility and convenience. People who want to live fast and have instant gratification are not looking for Old Florida. Such people are accommodated very well by municipalities and developers who want to grow by catering to the latest trends, and catering to the crowds. An island with small bridges that are not always open is an island that is more likely to retain the charm of Old Florida. But what about those times the Florida retiree needs to get to the hospital fast?

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Anna Maria Bridge Closes

Anna Maria Island bridge will close from early morning, Monday, September 29th, to allow planned repairs.

The closure is for 45 days, but may be shorter if the work progresses ahead of schedule, or longer if there are delays.

Anna Maria Island bridge

Traffic to and from the island will be detoured to the Cortez bridge to the south. Increased traffic flows at the Bradenton Beach end of Cortez Bridge will be accommodated by a lengthened turn lane.

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Tropical Storm Fay Detours Around Anna Maria Island

All eyes were on the tropics this week as a tropical depression in the Atlantic became a storm named Fay, when wind speeds hit 39 mph.

TS Fay path

As Fay crossed the Dominican Republic and Haiti, forecasters correctly predicted a turn to the NW and over Cuba. With no sign of weakening over land, Fay headed toward Florida’s SW coastline, maintaining 60mph winds, and leaving a wake of flooding rains as it made its first US landfall over Key West.

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Water Restrictions To Continue

Even with recent thunderstorms and measurable rainfall, watering restrictions have been extended for the 16 counties monitored by Southwest Florida Water Management District (Swiftmud).

sprinkler

Swiftmud said that the area received 5 inches average of rain in June, which is about two thirds normal. The current rainfall deficit is 17.2″ over the last two years of drought conditions, with below normal ground water levels.

Watering restrictions apply to all sources of public and private water supplies including wells and ponds.

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