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Sarasota official says damage from Hurricane Ian is minimal

Sarasota Sayys Minor Damage.jpg
WGCU/Tom Bayles
Sarasota's city manager said Thursday damage was minor, in part because drivers heeded the call to stay off the roads the day before as wind gusts from the storm topped 45 miles per hour

Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown said Thursday that damage caused by Hurricane Ian during the previous 48 hours is minor.

“It’s been a rough few days, but we made it through Hurricane Ian,” Brown wrote in a statement Thursday. “Damage to our community appears to be limited to a large number of downed trees, some downed utility lines, and minor structural damage.”

Wind gusts topped 50 miles per hour in Sarasota, a city in northern Sarasota County with a population of 55,000 people living on 16 square miles of land.

During the storm, roadways often had streams of water running down both sides but rarely were impassable. Parts of fences in neighborhoods were toppled, but many were put back up by Thursday evening. Among the remaining debris on side streets were dis-attached mailboxes, far flung garbage cans, and a four-burner stove in a water-filled ditch.

Mid-day Wednesday, Sarasota County’s Emergency Operations Center said wind gusts were approaching 45 miles-per-hour in Sarasota, a speed considered too dangerous for emergency responders to respond to 911 calls.

For a time prior to Ian’s eventual landfall at Cayo Costa on Wednesday, the storm was forecast to hit in Sarasota 50 miles to the north.

Sarasota plans to resume regular hours at city offices on Monday starting with the city commission meeting at 9 a.m.

“We have fared well and our hearts go out to our neighbors to the south as we see the catastrophic images on TV and internet.,” Brown wrote. “The City of Sarasota will offer assistance in whatever way we can to those communities in need.”