Now Hurricane Ian’s path shifts closer to Sarasota-Manatee, hurricane watch in effect

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Quick Sarasota-Manatee Hurricane Ian links:

The path of Hurricane Ian as of 5 am Monday.

5:00 am | It’s now Hurricane Ian, storm track shifts closer to Sarasota-Manatee

Tropical Storm Ian is now Hurricane Ian. Sarasota and Manatee counties are now under a Hurricane Watch that extends from Englewood to the north of Tampa, as well as a Storm Surge Watch.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 am update, the storm’s sustained winds are at 75 mph, pushing it onto hurricane status.

Though the track has shifted to the east, there is still major uncertainty about the path of Hurricane Ian. According to the NHC, Sarasota and Manatee counties can expect a storm surge of 5-8 feet and rainfall of 8-10 inches.

Hurricane Ian: Find all of our latest coverage of the storm

Shelters: Find a list of Manatee and Sarasota hurricane shelters here.

“Considerable flooding impacts are possible later this week in west central Florida,” said the NHC in its update.

The Sarasota-Manatee area can expect to experience rain and tropical storm conditions as early as Tuesday evening, while the bulk of Hurricane Ian’s impact on the area will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. Hurricane Ian is expected to be a major hurricane – with winds greater than 110 mph – by the middle of the week.

“Ian is likely to have an expanding wind field and will be slowing down by that time, which will have the potential to produce significant wind and storm surge impacts along the west coast of Florida,” said the NHC forecast.

Are schools open in Sarasota and Manatee counties?

Schools are open as normal in both Sarasota and Manatee counties on Monday, Sept. 26. Both districts will likely announce early in the day about closures for the rest of the week. Since most hurricane shelters in both counties are located in schools, closures are probable if Hurricane Ian threatens to have an impact on the area.

People stand in line for breakfast being served in the disaster shelter at Riverview High School in Sarasota in advance of Hurricane Irma in 2017. The shelter quickly reached capacity and closed to new evacuees.  Sarasota County is in the process of hardening schools in mid-county into storm shelters.

People stand in line for breakfast being served in the disaster shelter at Riverview High School in Sarasota in advance of Hurricane Irma in 2017. The shelter quickly reached capacity and closed to new evacuees. Sarasota County is in the process of hardening schools in mid-county into storm shelters.

Where are hurricane shelters in Sarasota and Manatee counties?

If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone or a mobile home, you must evacuate when the evacuation order is issued. Your first choice should be to stay with a friend or family member living close by but who is not in a flood-vulnerable area.

(You can find your Sarasota County hurricane evacuation zone here and your Manatee County hurricane evacuation zone here.)

Do not head to a shelter until they are officially opened by Sarasota or Manatee counties. They will announce on their websites, through social media and through the Herald-Tribune when shelters are opening.

Find a list of Manatee and Sarasota hurricane shelters here.

Preparing for Tropical Storm Ian: Where to get sandbags in Sarasota, Manatee counties

Tropical Storm Ian: See spaghetti models, path and storm activity for Florida

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This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Live Updates: Now Hurricane Ian’s path shifts closer to Sarasota-Manatee, hurricane watch in effect

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