VENICE, Fla. — With the forecast track taking Hurricane Ian into the Gulf Coast, people in the Sarasota County city of Venice are on high alert.
Forecasters predicted on Tuesday the city could take a direct hit from the storm.
“We put up the shudders this morning,” said longtime resident Amber Westra.
“I’m just crossing my fingers that (the storm) goes a little more south.”
All of coastal Venice is under a mandatory evacuation, along with those living farther inland and closer to the water.
City officials also announced the public water would be turned off at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night and would remain off until conditions improve and any needed repairs are made.
The Venice fishing pier and nearby restaurants closed down ahead of the storm.
The beach was a popular sightseeing location for residents who caught a glimpse of the coast before Ian approached.
The weather on Tuesday featured on-and-off rain showers and overcast clouds.
A far cry from what the area could be facing on Wednesday.
“We thought we would have fun in Florida,” said a man visiting family from the Netherlands.
“We boarded up the house today.”