Gulf of Mexico
Manasota Key Beach, 2018 (Photo by Peter Ravella, CNT)

FL - Sarasota County: How did Hurricane Idalia impact area beaches?

Analysis could be key to receiving federal, state money to repair recent beach renourishment projects on Siesta, Lido, Longboat and Manasota keys

Preliminary reports on the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Sarasota County beachesshowed the storm had moderate to significant impacts.

Siesta, Casey and Manasota keys all experienced impacts because of onshore winds and rough surf, as county staff surveyed a variety of beach areas, as well as homes that had previously experienced losses.

Officials caution that the evaluations offer a qualitative look at how beaches fared and not a measure of how much sand was lost.

In the case of renourished beaches – such as south Siesta Key, Manasota Key, Venice, Lido Beach, South Lido Beach and Longboat Key – the areas where they were improved include from the upland portion of the beach into the Gulf of Mexico, noted Joe Kraus, a business professional with the Sarasota County Department of Environmental Protection.


Read alsop

'All of our beaches have experienced significant erosion': Pinellas County officials assess Hurricane Idalia damage / September 01, 2023


That means sand that may have left the dry portion of the beach but still remains offshore is still considered to be part of the overall beach site.

That factors into whether the county or cities can receive reimbursement to replace lost sand.

In the coming days and weeks, engineers will follow through with more precise measurements so those determinations can be made.

What Sarasota County beach was damaged the most by Hurricane Idalia?

Manasota Key Beach, where heavy waves and storm surge knocked out 1,600 feet of Manasota Key Road – leaving it impassible – was likely the most impacted beach in Sarasota County.

Several homes that sustained damage from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022 were impacted, while several that escaped damage in 2022 suffered enough erosion to cause structural damage.

Read more.