Vice President Pence arrives on Sanibel to excited residents and lots of traffic

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Vice President Mike Pence. (CBS News photo)
FILE: Vice President Mike Pence. (CBS News photo/FILE)

Vice President Mike Pence arrived at RSW ahead of his trip to Sanibel Thursday. WINK News was set up right along the causeway with a live look, which you can watch in the player below.

The VP’s arrival could mean those coming to the island will likely see delays.

We spoke with the Sanibel police chief who suggests that drivers avoid the roads on the island from 3-7 p.m. if they want to beat traffic.

As the Vice President’s motorcade drove by, traffic on the Sanibel Causeway was at a standstill, with many excited to catch a glimpse of Pence as he arrived on the island.

He’s making his way to join thousands of others in the Sanibel sunshine and maybe hit a few of his favorite spots along the way, like the Sanibel Beauty Salon.

“Today I didn’t know,” said Maryanne Banta, owner of Sanibel Beauty Salon. “Somehow I missed it and one of our customers came in and told me he was going to be here, and I’m so excited. I hope I get to see him.”

She said her chair will be ready when he arrives.

“I’ve been out of town sometimes when he was here. I left a note on the door and on the phone that you know, we’re closed until a certain time unless you’re my vice president and then call me and I’ll come out here,” Banta said.

Onlookers like John Winchester lined the causeway just to see the Vice President’s motorcade.

A native of West Palm Beach, Winchester says he’s no stranger to secret service in the area.

“We used to see Obama come into town, which was super cool, but it poses up the traffic big time and makes a big mess of it,” he said.

That’s something many visiting the island can expect this week. Banta says she’s not worried.

“Some people who gripe about traffic, but this time of year you’re going to have traffic anyway and he’s the vice president, for crying out loud,” she said.

Pence has been known in the past to visit spots like Cheeburger Cheeburger and Timbers.

If you plan to visit Sanibel Island while Vice President Pence is there you can check real time street cameras to check the traffic situation before going. You can find that link here.

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