SANIBEL, Fla. — It was a typical Monday afternoon in Southwest Florida for Allison Godby.
She seized the sunshine while it was out, and put her paddle board on the water. She said she’s not worried about Tropical Storm Elsa.
“Absolutely not. Our summer storms are worse than this, and you’ve just got to be smart. Be prepared. This is a friendly reminder just to have things ready to go,” she said.
Even when the storm clouds rolled in, people stayed on the beach, and later cleared it just before the afternoon rain started.
Some resorts on the island aren’t allowing certain amenities - like beach umbrellas, kayaking, and biking, until Elsa passes.
And not everyone’s sticking around for the storm. Hunter Blackburn visits the island annually with his wife Heather. They usually extend their stay, but chose not to take any chances this time around.
“We’re actually leaving just to get out of the way of the storm.>
They packed their bags Monday morning and drove back home to New Orleans.
They stayed in the Castaway Cottages, which get beaten up pretty badly with high tides. When Tropical Storm Eta passed through Southwest Florida in November 2020, many guests had to relocate to other cottages farther away from shore.
Over time, storms like Eta and hurricanes erode beach shorelines, that’s why Sanibel’s neighboring island Captiva is adding more sand to their beaches with renourishment that’s scheduled to start later this month.
Sanibel’s Public Works Director said since the storm’s path has shifted west, they’re encouraging residents to use the same discretion they would throughout hurricane season.