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Manatee County expands mandatory evacuation order to Zones A and B

Evacuation orders for Zone B were upgraded from voluntary to mandatory.

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Manatee County officials issued a mandatory evacuation notice for both Zones A and B in preparation for the potential impacts of Hurricane Ian. 

According to a news release, Manatee County expanded its mandatory evacuation order to both residents living in Zones A and B. Zone B was upgraded from voluntary to mandatory at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. People living in Zone C are encouraged to seek shelter further inland. 

"This is worst-case scenario," Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said in a press release. "Those along the coast and prone to flooding need to take this seriously and evacuate." 

An additional two storm shelters will open at noon on Tuesday in Manatee County, including Buffalo Creek Middle School and Haile Middle School. Buffalo Creek is a pet-friendly shelter.

Signs along Cortez Boulevard and Manatee Avenue will inform motorists that there is no westbound access to the gulf islands beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Officials also stated utility crews will shut off potable water service to the barrier islands by sunset Tuesday night to "maintain integrity of the infrastructure during Ian's passage."

"We're expecting sustained tropical or hurricane winds to our barrier islands and coastal communities for as long as 48 hours, with the earliest arrival predicted for 8 p.m. Tuesday," Hopes said. "This is a worst-case scenario with a very strong slow-moving storm just to the west of us." 

RELATED: Evacuation zones and storm surge maps for the Tampa Bay area

Officials add Manatee County's Emergency Operations Center will also move to a Level One activation at 8 a.m. Tuesday. 

Additionally, Manatee County Parks and Preserves will close at the end of the day on Monday. Manatee County Animal Welfare facilities and Manatee County Public Libraries will be closed Tuesday until further notice. 

If you are in need of sandbags, Manatee County Public Works and Property Management Departments will be providing sandbags (limit 10 per household) at various locations. To find a location near you, click here

According to Manatee County officials, Manatee County Area Transit will be suspended Tuesday afternoon once winds reach tropical storm force. MCAT Handy Bus service on Monday and Tuesday will only be restricted to those traveling to and from dialysis and chemotherapy appointments. 

For recycling and trash pickup, the Lena Road Landfill will be open until 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday for haulers and residents wishing to bring trash for disposal. If any materials are not collected by Tuesday, Manatee County officials say residents should remove them from the curb and safely secure them. 

There will be no yard waste or recycling collection on Wednesday. 

For more information, you can call Manatee County's call center at 311. It will be open 24/7 beginning Tuesday at 8 a.m. You can also visit Manatee County's website or call 941-748-4501.

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