SANIBEL, Fla. — Sanibel City officials and locals on the island say they are preparing for Tropical Storm Eta, they’re not too worried about wind damage, but possible flooding.
Tropical Storm Eta plans to make landfall with semi high winds and rain, causing local areas to prepare for possible flooding. Keith Williams Director of Community Services Department and City Engineer for Sanibel says they are treating this like any other tropical storm.
“We have all of our fuel and vehicles ready to go. Our equipment is ready, we are fully staffed for the next 3 - 4 days in an effort to basically respond to any kind of storm event we might have. So we know the potential for surface water flooding does exist. We’ve already started making sure our stormwater system is prepared for cleaning out the system, opening up the weirs, so if we do get a significant rain event we can best address that,” said Keith Williams.
Williams says right now the city is advising residents to prepare but there is no need to overreact.
“Go ahead and secure anything you may have in your property that may be blown away, an umbrella, poll furniture any signage, and just be prepared for about 3 days of pro weather,” said Williams.
Maureen Watson owner of Watson Mcrae Gallery says she is normally closed on Sundays but came in to secure her business ahead of Eta.
“ I thought I would come in take the signs in. We have umbrellas that could be flying projectiles, and some of the artwork is outside and we'll bring it in, that's what we're doing,” said Keith Williams.
Others on the island, are taking advantage of the heavy winds, like Korey Barkley a windsurfer who tells Fox 4 me there are some risks being out there with high wind gusts.
“You know right now it's really windy and really gusty and we don't really get opportunities like this to take advantage. I am actually a little worried we had some serious winds come through, blowing like 25- 30 and I mean some of the guys put up their kites. I'm kind of watching now to see if I want to go back out you know, take that chance,” said Korey Barkley.
The City of Sanibel is asking all residents to secure items that could be blown away, and to simply stay informed. remain calm, and wait for the storm to pass.