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Storm preparation reels at the back of these fishermen's minds

Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 25, 2022

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — We are still tracking Tropical Storm Ian as portions of Southwest Florida remain in the cone of concern.

One of those areas in the cone is Charlotte County.

Those living in the county are prepping.

On the pier of the Port Charlotte Beach Park, it’s not too late for a little fishing.

“After the storms come through, it puts a lot of fresh water into the salt so it kind of deadens up the fishing for a while," said Marshal Eskew, who lives in Charlotte County. "So get it in while you can that way you can sit and chill in case something goes wrong.”

For Marshall Eskew and Timothy Panozzo, this Sunday morning brings an air of ease. But it hasn’t been all relaxation for the two.

"I was pretty nerved up, I think, on Friday," said Panozzo.

"It was like, at first, ‘Oh great here comes another storm,’" says Eskew. "Then I heard it was supposed to be a (category) 3, which you never know with the waters being that warm it could jump up to a 4 real quick. Then we’ve got Charlie all over again.”

The two, like many Floridians right now, have been prepping in case Tropical Storm Ian makes its course toward the state. It's the first time for Panozzo who just moved to Port Charlotte with his wife from Wisconsin.

"We’ve been prepping," he says. "It’s been kind of nice because the resources out there, the guides and all that, we’re just following that and praying that it’s going to be the best for what we’re going to do.”

Prepping by gathering supplies and putting together a disaster supply kit in case of an emergency.

The county is advising you to stock up on things like water, canned goods, and medications.

If you have any pets don't forget pet food.

Also, don't forget to include a hand-crank or battery-powered radio and some spare gasoline.

"We spent Thursday and Friday and part of yesterday just planning like that, making sure we had all that done like the gas is full," said Panozzo. "We were able to go to the beach yesterday and I think today, later on, this afternoon, I’ll check on the parents and make sure if anyone needs anything from us we can help them.”

In the meantime, the two will do what they can to ease their minds. A last moment of calm before the storm.

"All we can do is keep prepared," said Eskew. "And make sure our neighbors are prepared as well.”

Charlotte County says their emergency management office is actively monitoring Tropical Storm Ian. They say, right now, to know your evacuation zone, review your plans and stay informed.

County Commissioners will be holding an emergency meeting Monday at 5:00 p.m.

You can find more info online right here.