Sarasota bracing for Hermine’s impact; residents asked to conserve water

Lido Key on Thursday morning.
Lido Key on Thursday morning.
Lido Key on Thursday morning.

 

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Torrential rain and strong winds have taken their toll on Sarasota County. The flooding started Wednesday, and conditions are not expected to improve until Friday.

Hurricane Hermine made its presence known in Sarasota, leaving the county soaked. Many low lying roads, especially in Siesta Key, are now underwater. It is causing traffic headaches and forcing wastewater treatment plants to work overtime.

The plants are designed to handle around 14 million gallons of water a day. During the past 24 hours that number has doubled.

“If we have any failures, we can expect wastewater spills in some cases, backups in homes, so we’re very concerned and making sure that the system is operating properly to keep that from happening,” David Cash with Sarasota County Public Utilities said.

In the meantime, beaches across the county have no swim advisories.

Sadly, locals say the rising waters have washed away sea turtle nests. “We also saw a lot of dead sea turtles today, and that was really heartbreaking because for the past month we’ve been watching them,” Sarasota resident Jay Elsasser said.

“There were eggs that were just bobbing in the water; people chased after them … Turtle nesting season is probably the highlight of the year at least for the summer and to see so much potential and so many turtles lost, it is heartbreaking,” Elsasser added.

Officials say the Gulf is just too dangerous right now. That didn’t stop some onlookers or surfers.

“We just moved down here last year so this is our first big storm so honestly it’s kinda fun,” Sarasota resident Jenna Zappala said.

Officials are asking Sarasota County residents to restrict their water usage. They want residents to avoid using dishwashers and washing machines, or taking long showers until Friday.

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