SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Those who evacuated away from Sarasota County during Hurricane Ian's impacts and are now returning must use extreme caution when driving around the area, officials say.
People living in the county have made many calls about power outages in their homes and downed trees or power lines on the roadways, Sarasota County said in a news release. There is also reportedly potential damage to drinking and wastewater.
Drivers are asked to only travel for essential needs only.
A map created by the county shows which parts of the area demand caution when reentering or traveling for other reasons.
A color code system is used to dictate the safety levels. The following colors are used to inform about the risks associated when driving around the county:
- Red: It is unsafe and emergency services may not be available. There is extensive damage limiting travel, and access is limited to residents and business owners.
- Yellow: Power is out and trees and power lines are down. Traffic lights may be out and there is potential damage to drinking and wastewater. Safety precautions are required, and travel should be limited to essential needs.
- Green: There are no limiting factors, and it is safe for the general public.
As of 4 p.m. Saturday, no parts of the map contain the color green. Most of the northern part of the county is yellow, with the southern part mostly red.
To view the full map, click here.
For people who need to report a power outage, click here or call 800-4-468-8243.
Damage at some Sarasota County schools has prompted the school district to close schools until further notice.