SARASOTA, Fla. - Sarasota County leaders declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon, as Isaac moves through the Caribbean.
Emergency officials say declaring a local state of emergency is a proactive measure to allow Sarasota County to be prepared for any unforeseen expenditures due to the storm, and to use the county's emergency operations plans.
People across the county are preparing for the storm, should it come their way.
Inside the Daiquiri Deck in St. Armands, you'll find daiquiri machines and viewers glued to the TV, watching the latest updates on Isaac.
Managers say they know the drill. Bar Manager Jake Bachowsik said, "Being on the second floor out at St. Armands, we're pretty safe from any flood water or anything like that. But as far as precautions, we have hurricane impact doors and windows so there's no need for boarding up. We'll be removing all of our patio furniture."
Bernie Christner and his family are from Buffalo and plan on moving to Sarasota in January. They're here on vacation, but because of Isaac, vacation has turned into preparation. "We'll probably bring the patio furniture in and what came with the house is some reinforcements for the garage door and things like that. So probably not leave loose things around I guess."
Managers at Lowe's on Fruitville Road say they've seen a jump in business the last couple of days. The store brought in a truckload of hurricane supplies, like generators batteries, and water. Joe Hernandez works at a nursing home and is picking up some last minute items. Hernandez said, "We're a healthcare setting. We're a nursing and rehab center. We have about 80 residents in our building and because we're in healthcare, we have to take that seriously."
Also taking the storm seriously are officials at the Sarasota Emergency Operations Center. Staff will continue to monitor Isaac 24 hours a day.
They say residents should continue to pay close attention to local news media for updates on the situation. Additional flooding, tornado warnings or other urgent updates can happen as Tropical Storm Isaac moves toward the southwest coast of Florida.
For information about storm preparation, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit www.scgov.net and click on the All Hazards link.
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Randall Nelson's family say a dispute over cigarettes ended when Nelson was hit and then dragged 75 feet by an SUV his own nephew was driving.