Voluntary evacuation order issued

MANATEE COUNTY – As Category 5 Hurricane Irma continues to threaten Florida, a voluntary evacuation order is in effect beginning tomorrow, Friday Sept. 8, at 7 a.m. for anyone in a mobile home or anyone in evacuation Level A in Manatee County, in red on this map.

Four emergency shelters will open at 4 p.m. tomorrow for the evacuation including:

  • Myakka Elementary School, 37205 Manatee Ave., Myakka City

    Jessie’s is ready for the worst on Anna Maria Island.
  • Braden River High (pet friendly), 6545 SR 70 East, Bradenton
  • Manatee High School (pet friendly), 1000 32nd Street West, Bradenton
  • Mills Elementary (pet friendly), 7200 69th Street East, Palmetto


Manatee County schools will be closed on Friday to prepare for the conversion to shelters.

They’re filling up sand bags at Holmes Beach City Hall.

“Our emergency shelters should be a last option for anyone who’s decided to leave their home,” Emergency Management Chief Sherilyn Burris said. “We strongly encourage people to stay with family and friends outside of the evacuation area.”

Sandbags are available today from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at:

  • Buffalo Creek Park – 7550 69th St. E., Palmetto
  • G.T. Bray Park – 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton
  • Lakewood Ranch Park – 5350 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton
  • Stormwater Ops – 5511 39th St. E., Bradenton
  • Rubonia Community Center – 1309 72nd St. E., Palmetto

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) services, including fixed-route buses, the Anna Maria Island Trolley and the Longboat Key Shuttle, will be suspended beginning Friday, Sept. 8, in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

Handy Bus services will also be suspended, except for scheduled dialysis trips on Friday and Saturday. No new reservations will be taken for Monday or Tuesday. Some buses will be used for evacuation transportation for those on the Special Needs Registry.
The length of the suspension is yet to be determined, but officials advised it could last through Wednesday, Sept. 13, depending on the impact of the storm.
Updated Sept. 7, 3:40 p.m.

We are experiencing heavy volume on our website due to Hurricane Irma. If you have trouble accessing the site directly, please type ‘Anna Maria Island Sun’ into the Google search bar. Thanks, and stay safe.