Emergency officials in Charlotte and Sarasota counties say not to worry about Tropical Storm Karen’s impact in our area.
“If (Karen) holds track, we’ll see very few effects,” Wayne Sallade, Charlotte County’s Emergency Management director said Thursday. “We’ll see an uptick in rip currents, and tides will run a foot above normal.”
Sallade said rip currents are dangerous, especially to small children. According to the National Weather Service, rip currents can be identified by the following characteristics — a channel of churning, choppy water; an area having a notable difference in water color; a line of foam, seaweed or debris moving steadily seaward; and a break in the incoming wave pattern.
Andrew McKaughan, a meteorologist with the NWS, said there’s no need for concern.
“Forecasts would indicate minimal impact,” McKaughan said. “Rain chances may go up.”
McKaughan said the consensus between forecast models would indicate the storm most likely will hit the north part of the Gulf. The projected path, according to the National Hurricane Center, indicates it will make landfall somewhere from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
“From what we’re being told, we’re getting mostly fringe effects offshore,” said Ed McCrane, Sarasota County Emergency Management chief. “(The) majority of effects will be on the Gulf. There should be small-craft advisories if things get worse. We’re not in the cone and most models agree, it’s not coming here.”
McCrane said his office and all appropriate agencies have been alerted and updated. He cautions residents to remain vigilant, as hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.
“It’s not over yet,” he said.