Another reminder that the worst is likely yet to come for Sarasota and Manatee counties— and that the world is watching — arrived around 1:30 p.m. today with a live broadcast by CNN.
Derek Van Dam, with wind and rain stinging his face, delivered a report from downtown Bradenton, which is located along the Manatee River by the mouth of Tampa Bay. He set up just a short walk from the Bradenton Riverwalk, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with the completion of the first phase of its eastern expansion. While the weather anchor spoke over the howl of the wind, CNN gave a “breaking news” report at the bottom of the screen noting that “120K+ Manatee residents were ordered to evacuate.”
Ian heads toward Sarasota-Manatee: Storm to hit region as a near Category 5 hurricane
Meteorologist's Hurricane Ian Live blog: Up-to-the-minute updates as Category 4 storm makes landfall
Van Dam reported that the Manatee River has experienced a “complete reduction of the water,” noting that the “northeast winds are so powerful they have driven the water from the river."
“It’s a reminder of how powerful this storm really is,” Van Dam said from outside the Manatee Chamber of Commerce building at 10th Street West, just about a block east of Old Main Street and its popular row of now shuttered restaurants and bars.
Van Dam said that Hurricane Ian is binging weather that most Sarasota-Manatee residents have “never before experienced” before informing his international audience that Bradenton officials are asking residents to conserve water after they received word from their public works staff that the wastewater treatment plant is full and in danger of overflowing.
“It’s hard to believe that in the coming hours Hurricane Ian winds here could nearly triple if we get into that eye-wall, which looks more and more likely,” Van Dam said after pausing to let another one of the “tropical storm gusts” pass.
Transformers blowing all around us,lighting up the sky taking out communications and electricity. I just took this video seconds ago #bradentonfl #hurricaneian @CNNweather @CNNweather @cnnbrk pic.twitter.com/0cDfseLolx
— Derek Van Dam (@VanDamCNN) September 28, 2022
Van Dam wobbled in the aggressive winds and reminded his audience that it was indeed difficult to stand up because “every couple moments there are these intense gusts of wind.”
He closed the segment by grimly noting that the slow forward movement of Hurricane Ian is “so daunting in the hours ahead” with “misery for so many hours compared to a fast moving storm.”
Wade Tatangelo is Ticket Editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and Florida-Georgia Regional Dining and Entertainment Editor for the USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism by subscribing.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Hurricane Ian: CNN broadcasting from Bradenton