Hurricane Irma sweeps Anna Maria Island

Pines Trailer Park post-Irma
Ranae Ratajczak told The Sun on Facebook that this is her roof at the Pines Trailer Park in Bradenton Beach damaged by Irma. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

Category 2 Hurricane Irma veered away from Anna Maria Island to the east overnight, continuing to head north as a tropical storm.

A tropical storm warning is still in effect in Manatee County.

The curfew was lifted at 8:30 a.m. but the Cortez Bridge to the Island will remain closed until at least 3 p.m. today, with access to the Island restricted to emergency officials, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The Manatee Avenue bridge will reopen as soon as downed power lines and roads are cleared.

Cortez bridge post Irma
The Cortez bridge is closed until 3 p.m. today. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Water service is out on the Island and crews are working to get it restored, according to Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells. A boil water notice is in effect for the Island. Residents must bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before drinking.

Police report they are monitoring the beach, and so far, flooding is minor, not the storm surge expected when Irma was forecast to pass directly over Manatee County, before she took an easterly turn.

Shell post Irma
The Shell station in Bradenton Beach lost part of its canopy. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

The Cortez Post Office sustained damage, as did a building on 119th Street West.

Cortez post Irma
Irma damaged the U.S. Post Office in Cortez. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Police have received no emergency calls from people trapped in their homes, Wells said.

911 is now taking emergency calls, according to Manatee County Emergency Operations officials, who request that you do not call unless it is a life-threatening emergency.

Drivers are advised to treat intersections as four-way stops if traffic lights are down.

Cortez post Irma
A tree obscures a house on 119th Street West in Cortez. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

If you have damage to your home, document it and contact your insurance company, officials advise.

As you make repairs, use caution, particularly with chain saws, and be aware that there may be downed trees and power lines around you.

Bradenton Beach post Irma
This fence in Bradenton Beach was hit by a large toy car. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

FEMA has declared Manatee County a disaster area. If you have flood damage, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

To report damage to roads, power lines and infrastructure, call the Manatee County Citizen’s Information Center at 941-749-3547.

Hurricane season lasts until Nov. 30. Officials advise watching the path of Jose in the Atlantic.

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