TCPalm has staff in Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach, Indiantown, Jupiter Island and Ocean Breeze to provide updates on Tropical Storm Ian’s impact Thursday to Martin County.
4:01 p.m. Bridges back to normalcy
The Roosevelt Drawbridge and Hobe Sound Bascule Bridge reopened Thursday.
On Friday, all Martin County offices will reopen and Martin County Public Transit (MARTY) buses will be back in service.
4 p.m. (More) power to the people
The number of Martin County FPL customers still without service has dropped to 4,500, or 5% of the utility's customers here. That's down from more than 26,000 who lost power Wednesday when Hurricane Ian's tropical-force winds whipped the county.
Early Thursday morning roughly 22% of FPL customers in the tri-county region were without power. By 4 p.m., that was down to 12%, the company said.
2:30 p.m. - Tropical storm warning lifted
Martin County is no longer under a tropical storm warning, according to the National Weather Service’s Melbourne office. Neither is St. Lucie.
However, the threat remains in Indian River, with wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour forecast in coastal areas.
1:46 p.m. Stuart resumes garbage pickup
Sanitation collection schedules resume Friday, city officials announced. Crews will service missed areas both Friday and Saturday to make up for Wednesday's and Thursday's missed pickups.
City Hall also is advising residents who have storm debris involving trees, limbs and branches to gather and place them neatly at the curb when weather permits.
Storm debris should not be placed in roadways, block sidewalks or be mixed with bulk items. Debris also should not be placed in gutters, over storm drains or open channels of water since this can block pipes and culverts.
1:32 FPL getting power restored
More than 6,000 Martin County FPL customers, or 7% of customers here, remain without power this afternoon. FPL has restored power to about 20,000 customers.
Early Thursday morning, roughly 22% of electric customers across the region were without power. That was down to 5% by 1 p.m. Thursday.
12:50 p.m. Martin County schools, IRSC reopen Friday
After a two-day shutdown for Hurricane Ian, the Martin County School District will reopen schools Friday.
"The district continues to carefully monitor local weather conditions alongside our partners at Martin County Emergency Management," the district said in a statement. "Teams have been working to address any individual needs that may exist for our schools and office sites."
Because of power outages across the community, the district will offer free meals to all students on Friday.
Individual schools will announce the status of events that were rescheduled because of the storm.
Officials of Indian River State College said all campuses would reopen Friday.
11:47 a.m. Just a day at the beach
While floods closed down roads and winds uprooted trees across much of the Treasure Coast, it was just another day at the beach for the dozens of people who flocked to Martin County's coast.
People walked dogs, sat on the sand and a couple even jumped in the water at Jensen Beach Park.
Ryan Smolen, of Stuart, walked into the ocean with a surfboard in hand.
He said he wanted to see if the hurricane created a swell to catch some waves.
Unfortunately, he walked out of the water with no waves high enough to surf. Smolen said he couldn’t remember the best waves he’s caught during a hurricane, but takes each day in the water as it comes.
“If it’s a good one I get it, if I don’t I miss it.”
— Mauricio La Plante
11:45 a.m. - Tropical storm warning
The National Weather Service issued an advisory saying Martin County remains under a tropical storm warning.
Northwest winds, especially along Florida's northeast coast, were expected to reach 46-57 mph with gusts up to 75 mph. Tropical storm force winds are possible until early Friday.
Seas were expected to be 11 to 16 feet near shore and up to 20 feet offshore. A storm surge up to 2 feet could be seen through Sunday evening.
Strong winds are causing hazardous seas, which could capsize or damage vessels and reduce visibility. Mariners are advised to remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter their course, and/or secure their vessel.
10:52 a.m. Time for your coffee fix?
Many businesses are still closed, but Gilbert's Coffee Bar in Stuart was open for residents who may have had a tough night riding out the storm.
9:56 a.m. - Cleveland Clinic Martin Health to reopen
Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, which operates several Martin North Hospital and Martin South Hospital in Stuart, will reopen ambulatory clinics at 10 a.m. This includes rehabilitation and urgent care centers.
Ambulatory surgery centers will reopen at noon. Patients may call 800-546-4138 for more information.
9:30 a.m. Power outages
In Martin County, about 8,600 Florida Power & Light customers were without service Thursday morning, the company reported.
Across the rest of the Treasure Coast, FPL reported more than 26,000 customers without power in Indian River County and 40,290 in St. Lucie County.
About 22% of FPL customers on the Treasure Coast are without power this morning.
More than 4,000 Fort Pierce Utilities Authority reported about 4,000 customers in the dark, the utility said.
9:05 a.m. Trees down in Stuart
Trees are down in the St. Lucie Crescents neighborhood of Stuart. City crews are busy trying to clear the aftermath.
Read about how neighbors helped neighbors, with chainsaws and rakes, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian winds:
9:03 Damage along East Ocean Blvd.
— Ed Killer (@TCPalmEKiller) September 29, 2022
City of Stuart Public Works team removing downed trees in the St. Lucie Crescents neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/yj1ujV0xJi
— City of Stuart (@CityofStuartFL) September 29, 2022
8:50 a.m. Vegetation blown near roads
U.S. 1 south of the Roosevelt Bridge to SE Monterey Road is lightly traveled and dry, unlike Wednesday when the roadway was slick from rain. Signs of blown down vegetation. Crews used heavy equipment to remove a downed palm tree in front of Martin County School District headquarters as downed palm fronds scattered in grass area in front of the building.
7:49 a.m. Stuart assessing damage
The city of Stuart was deploying crews early to determine the extent of damage across the city.
City teams out doing damage assessment. Please stay home and off the roads if possible. Many obstacles in the roads. More reports to follow as they roll in. pic.twitter.com/eiVDFWSPNN
— City of Stuart (@CityofStuartFL) September 29, 2022
7 a.m. - Power outages rising
More than 14,600 Florida Power & Light Co. customers in Martin County are experiencing a power outage, about 15.5%.
4 a.m. - What’s closed during Hurricane Ian?
The Martin County School District is closed Thursday, along with all government facilities.
Click here for an exhaustive list of local closures and cancellations.
1 a.m. - Tornado watch ends
A tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service Wednesday afternoon has ended. Nine Florida counties, including Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River, were included in the watch.
A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Florida until 1 AM EDT pic.twitter.com/IqgD6fjwfD
— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) September 28, 2022
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Hurricane Ian: Tropical storm warning for Martin County, Florida