Manatee Co. leaders requesting more shelters for future storms

Shelters were at 75 percent capacity during Irma

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - Manatee County leaders evacuated zone “A” during Hurricane Irma. About 25-thousand people packed into the county’s twenty-five school shelters, nearly reaching the shelter capacity. Now, county leaders are worried about future storms.

“We would like to see some new shelters come online,” said Manatee County Administrator John Osborne.

He said the funding the county currently gets is based on old data. He doesn’t believe there would have been enough room for all the evacuated residents if officials had evacuated zone “B” during Irma.

“We are going to request the state to look at this again we would like to have new schools be shelter ready,” said Osborne.

Gloria Gallati stayed in a Manatee County shelter for two nights. She said there was barely enough space for all the people and animals.

"It was totally packed and there was all kinds of animals everywhere,” said Gallati.

County leaders hope to have a new shelter plan in place by next hurricane season.

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