Hurricane Ian: Mandatory evacuations ordered in much of Southwest Florida
Mandatory evacuations have been orders in most Level A (red) areas of Southwest Florida. Image via

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School is canceled today and tomorrow at least in all coastal counties in the region.

County governments in Southwest Florida have declared states of emergency and ordered mandatory evacuations for areas at risk as Hurricane Ian tracks toward the coast.

Individuals wondering how at risk they are of storm surge and flooding can check the zones where they live at

All five counties on the coast of Southwest Florida have canceled school.

Manatee County

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Level A areas starting as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27. A voluntary evacuation has been ordered for those in Level B. That decision came down as forecasters with the National Hurricane Center made clear the entire area around Tampa Bay could see five to 10 feet of storm surge.

The county is opening shelters today at the following locations: Braden River High School (pet friendly); Harvey Elementary School; Manatee High School (pet friendly); Myakka Elementary School; Mills Elementary School (pet friendly); Bayshore Elementary School; Miller Elementary School; Freedom Elementary School; McNeal Elementary School; Gullett Elementary School; Rogers Garden Elementary School; Lee Middle School; Williams Elementary School; and Willis Elementary School.

Sarasota County

Sarasota officials also called for evacuation of Level A areas and for those in vessels, RVs and mobile manufactured homes. Buses will begin the community at special transportation rally points starting Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. That service will be available until 8 p.m. or until the area sees sustained winds of 35 miles per hour, whichever comes first. Sandbags are still available at Ed Smith Stadium, Twin Lakes Park and South County Fleet.

Waste pickup has been canceled in Sarasota for Wednesday and Thursday, and local landfills will also be closed those days. All events and reservations at county parks have been canceled through Thursday. Sarasota County schools are all closed, and all college campuses have now canceled classes through the week.

Charlotte County

The county has partially activated its emergency operations center. As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for those in Level A areas. That includes everyone on Don Pedro Island, Knight/Palm Island, Little Gasparilla Island, Gasparilla Island and Manasota Key.

The following shelter locations are now open: Kingsway Elementary School; Liberty Elementary School; Liberty Elementary School; and Harold Ave. Regional Park Recreation Center.

Lee County

Bridge tolls have been suspended in Lee County. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Zona A and parts of Zone B are also being evacuated. The county as of 9 a.m. opened 10 shelters, all of them pet-friendly: Dunbar High School; East Lee County High School; Estero Recreation Center; Gateway High School; Hertz Arena; Island Coast High School; Oak Hammock Middle School; South Fort Myers High School; Varsity Lakes Middle School; and Veterans Park Recreation Center.

Collier County

The farthest county from storm tracks, school has been canceled here only Tuesday and Wednesday out of an abundance of caution. The area remains under Tropical Storm Watch.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Tom

    September 27, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Tropical 5 ocean breeze. Trump said it’s a good time for deep sea fishing. Where we go one, we go all.

  • Tjb

    September 27, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Governor DeSantis,
    Hurricane heading toward home. Help is urgently needed.
    I can’t find property insurance. Need help now. One company offer me insurance at double what I paid last year, but as yesterday they dropped out of the Florida market. Help me Ron

Comments are closed.


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