Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – An early Wednesday morning tour of Anna Maria Island revealed Hurricane Elsa’s impact was minimal in the three Island cities.

The storm that passed through Anna Maria Island Tuesday afternoon and evening and into Wednesday morning produced localized flooding but no reports of significant property damage, one reported fallen tree and no reported downed power lines or power outages on the Island.

According to Wunderground.com – an affiliate of The Weather Channel – the highest wind gust recorded at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport weather station during Elsa was 54 mph at 10:53 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Wednesday morning, Anna Maria resident Doug Copeland said he and his wife’s rain gauge indicated 2.8 inches of rain fell during Elsa at their home near the Rod & Reel Pier.

Bradenton Beach

According to Bradenton Beach Public Works Director Tom Woodard and Lt. John Cosby from the Bradenton Beach Police Department, at approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday morning an unoccupied sailboat on the Cortez side of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) broke free of its mooring and began drifting toward the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
Officer Eric Hill and members of the Bradenton Beach Public Works Department secured this sailboat that broke loose on the Cortez side of the ICW. Photo: Bradenton Beach Police Department | Submitted

“We were able to go out and get it and get it tied up and secured. They got it under control and out of the way before it caused any problems,” Cosby said, noting that Officer Eric Hill piloted the police boat stationed on the police boat lift adjacent to the pier.

Cosby and Woodard said the pier and the floating dock sustained no damage during the storm. Cosby said it may take a few days to have the sailboat removed.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
The sailboat that broke loose Tuesday morning remained tied to the Bridge Street Pier Wednesday morning. Photo: Joe Hendricks

A 7 a.m. visit to the pier Wednesday morning revealed the sailboat was still secured to the dolphin pilings at east end of the floating day dock and none of the 15 or so liveaboard vessels anchored south of the pier had broken free or sunk during the storm. The one sunken vessel currently in the area sank long before Tuesday’s storm.

“Everybody did what they needed to do,” Cosby said of those liveaboard boaters.

According to Cosby, Officer Hill contacted many of them via cell phone on Monday and reminded them to secure their vessels with double anchors before the storm arrived.

“It appears everybody did it, because I don’t see any issues,” Cosby said.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
The liveaboard boaters south of the Bridge Street Pier weathered Elsa’s waves and winds. Photo: Joe Hendricks

Cosby and Woodard said they weren’t aware of any property damage or serious flooding issues elsewhere in the city. A tour of the city indicated some localized street and yard flooding, but less than can often be seen during other heavy rain events.

“I don’t believe we had any calls for service or any type of distress calls,” Cosby said.

Cosby said some of the Gulf-side beach areas “took a pretty good hit” in terms of beach erosion.

“That was expected. No big surprise there,” Cosby said of the erosion.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
The sailboat that broke loose Tuesday morning remained tied to the Bridge Street Pier Wednesday morning. Photo: Joe Hendricks

Holmes Beach

A pass through Holmes Beach at 7:30 Wednesday morning revealed standing water covering the edge of Marina Drive, near city hall and the Island Branch Library, but the travel lanes were not completely submerged. Standing water was also covering portions of some of the adjacent side streets.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
The flooding along Marina Drive in Holmes Beach was limited to the edge of the road by the time the sun came up. Photo: Joe Hendricks

When contacted later in the day, Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer said that city fared well during the storm.

“I was out all day and night until 5:30 this morning. We had some flooding by city hall around 3 to 4 a.m. After the rain stopped, the water subsided pretty quickly. We had minor overnight flooding and one tree down in the parking lot of Martinique North. We dodged the bullet,” Tokajer said.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
Standing water covered this portion of 63rd Street in Holmes Beach Wednesday morning. Photo: Joe Hendricks

Anna Maria

At approximately 8 a.m., Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy and Public Works Manager Dean Jones were touring the city and accessing the storm damage.

“So far, we’re looking pretty good. We’ve got some local street flooding in the areas that would normally flood – and it’s not saltwater flooding, it’s rainwater flooding. There’s no trees down. All of our major roads are clear, but there’s some outlying areas and backstreets where we’ve got some issues with flooding. Some of that we’ll be able to pump out and some we won’t,” Murphy said.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
This Anna Maria homeowner’s yard experienced Elsa-related flooding. Photo: Joe Hendricks

A tour around Anna Maria indicated North Bay Boulevard, near the Bean Point beach access, was among the most flooded areas.

The visit to the beach in front of the Sandbar restaurant revealed significant beach erosion may have occurred.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
The beach in front of the Sandbar restaurant in Anna Maria appeared to have suffered beach erosion during the storm. Photo: Joe Hendricks

The new Anna Maria City Pier came through the storm unscathed and residents and visitors were going about their business as usual as the sun appeared and the new day got underway, with some intermittent sun showers throughout the day.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
The new Anna Maria City Pier sustained no storm damage. Photo: Joe Hendricks

The city’s “Reimagining Pine Avenue” public information meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon was cancelled and rescheduled at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 12.

Cortez Beach

A mid-morning trip to Cortez Beach in Bradenton Beach revealed several people walking along the beach and few surfers in the water. Red flags were flying on the lifeguard tower and a member of the Manatee County Beach Patrol called a group of young men back to shore who had walked out to the end of one of the groins being battered by the high surf.

Elsa takes it easy on Anna Maria Island
Due to high surf, these young men were asked to vacate a beach groin at Cortez Beach. Photo: Joe Hendricks

HBPD releases fatal accident details

HOLMES BEACH – On Saturday morning, the Holmes Beach Police Department released the following probable cause affidavit submitted by Detective Brian Hall.

“On 02/10/2021 at around 1900 hours, a vehicle vs. pedestrian crash occurred in the 2700 block of Gulf Drive on Holmes Beach in Manatee County. The pedestrian and victim, Ms. Madelyn Dakin, was crossing Gulf Drive in the 2700 block walking westbound and was not in a designated crosswalk area. A vehicle, determined to be a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer, was traveling south on Gulf Drive and struck the victim, projecting her approximately 30 feet Southwest onto the grassy area beside the roadway. The vehicle information was provided by a license plate reader located directly above the incident location. The victim sustained a severe laceration to the abdomen with various other injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene by EMS at 1911 hours,” the probable cause affidavit said.

“Multiple witnesses stopped and advised that a thin built, blonde female, approximately in her 20’s, was observed beside the victim and frantically shaking her, asking other witnesses for help. This subject was later identified as Ms. Cierra Shannon who is the defendant in this case. One witness advised that the defendant made multiple statements that she needed to leave because she was in a hurry or she needed to pick up her mother before eventually getting back in her vehicle and leaving the scene. Two witnesses were interviewed and photo packs were completed and administered. Both witnesses confirmed Ms. Shannon in the line-up provided. The Medical Examiner’s report determined that the victim’s manner of death as ‘Accident’ and the cause of death as ‘Transecting Laceration of Aorta due to blunt impact to the torso,’” according to the probable cause affidavit.

“Multiple locations were checked for the defendant to include the address listed on her driver’s license. Officers spoke with the defendant’s mother at the given address, but the defendant and the involved vehicle were not located at this time. The involved vehicle is registered to the defendant’s mother but she was not able to advise its location at this time. The morning of the following day (02/11/2021), units were contacted by an attorney advising to represent the defendant. The location of the vehicle was provided at this time and located at 4535 119th St W where consistent damage was observed on the front passenger’s side headlight and quarter panel area with various dried blood spots that was at a seemingly consistent height of the victim’s injuries. The defendant advised the attorney that she would turn herself in at Bradenton Police Dept. She arrived at Bradenton Police Department and was arrested, and paperwork was completed,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

The vehicle was located in the trap yard at the FISH Preserve in Cortez.

On Friday, Shannon, 27, was released on a $15,000 bond. She faces a first-degree felony charge of “Leaving scene of crash with death.”

According to Florida Statute 316.027 (2)(c), Crash involving death or personal injuries: “The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property which results in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and shall remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. A person who willfully violates this paragraph commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years. A person who willfully commits such a violation while driving under the influence as set forth in s. 316.193(1) shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years.”

According to a press release issued by the Holmes Beach Police Department on Thursday, the victim, Madelyn Dakin, 83, is survived by her husband Gerald. The couple lived in Brighton, Michigan.

“Madelyn and her husband of 67 years, Gerald, have vacationed in Holmes Beach for many years,” the press release said.