Collier officials keeping an eye on storm

Posted at 10:26 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 22:59:21-04
NAPLES, Fla -- On the 24th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, which tore through Miami-Dade and Collier Counties, officials are urging people not to let their guard down.
Although a system spawning in the eastern Carribean is much smaller than Andrew was, it shouldn't be taken for granted.
"i've seen it worse," said Orguz Ertem, who is visiting Southwest Florida from New York.
Ertem and his family rode out Superstorm Sandy,  which struck the New Jersey coast in 2012 causing major damage.
"You see the boats drifting about a half mile from the water, in the middle of someone's backyard, or the road, it was devastating."
His home wasn't damaged by the storm, but he saw a lot of people who weren't as fortunate.
"Some of the people had photos, or personal belongings, in their families they had it for years, then it was garbage you can't even save it."
It's way early for a major concern, but Collier County's emergency management director wants people to take the system, known as "Invest 99", seriously.
"Don't panic, prepare, watch this carefully," said Dan Summers.
This is a good time for Southwest Floridian's to dust off their hurricane checklists.
"We don't want to alarm you at this point, but this is an environment where there is the possibility of significant change in track, there is a possibility of intensification."
And while it's easy to let your guard down, with this storm so far off,  Ertem says his fellow New Yorkers need to take advice given to Floridians.
"Be prepared, by ready."
Even if Invest 99 doesn't reach Southwest Florida as a tropical system, it still had the potential to dump 5 to 6 inches of rain in the area.