The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said early this morning that most of the damage from Hurricane Ian is south of Venice Avenue.

“There are still several road obstructions including fallen trees and debris, standing water, and downed power lines,” the office tweeted at 5:36 a.m.

Water remains shut off to Siesta and Casey Keys, and the county anticipates that there will be disruptions in other service areas.

“For those who have water, please limit use and know that water pressure will be lower than normal,” Sarasota County asked.

The county’s Tactical First-In Teams started assessing the emergency routes for first responders at 2 a.m. and will continue until all routes are open, according to a county newsletter.

County staff are conducting damage assessments, too.

“Our teams are evaluating our county infrastructure including water and wastewater systems,” Sarasota County stated.

Charlotte County Emergency management, first responders, public works and utilities staff have  currently not been able to safely access the damage caused by Hurricane Ian. The inundation of water, extreme wind conditions and debris in the roadways and waterways have made it difficult to do that safely.  They are experiencing connectivity issues and many cellular service providers are down.

If you decided to evacuate, now is not the time to return regardless of where you live in Charlotte County. The roads are extremely dangerous with many unknown hazards. We’ve been working throughout the storm to provide much needed assistance to our community.  We will get through this together and begin the road to recovery.