Frenzy of storm preparations slows down, businesses relieved to be out of the cone

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
FILE – People in SWFL prepare for Hurricane Dorian (WINK News)

While Southwest Florida is out of the cone for Tropical Storm Laura, hurricane season isn’t slowing down. It’s important to be prepared, no matter where the storm is.

There was certainly a sigh of relief Saturday morning as SWFL remains outside of the forecast cone.

Unsurprisingly, there’s very little foot traffic now at Home Depot, though it’s certainly safe to expect we will see some folks later on coming to stock up.

For lots of people, both Tropical Storm Laura and Isaias have served as good reminders. We never know when that storm is going to come or when it’s going to shift.

“I keep all my supplies, I have my generator, I have my gas already, after being through a couple of them it’s just better safe than sorry,” said Barry Despirito of Lehigh Acres. “Charley was the first one, that was a doosie; Irma was no fun for me. I’m out in Lehigh so that one came through pretty strong.”

Shifting outside of the forecast cone on Friday not only slowed down any frenzy here, but it also brought some much-needed relief to businesses.

“We had a couple cancellations, but then some folks rebooked and so forth, so, it’s still really holding strong this weekend,” said Gary Lee with Pink Shell.

“It’s not that threatening, you know,” said Lauren Bradley with Bella Mozzarella. “We’ll probably, honestly, still be open unless it’s, like, really, really windy. Anything like a one or a tropical storm, you know, it’s just a rainy day, really.”

This is really the time to prepare. So many stores have capacity limits or wait times to adhere to social distancing. You don’t want to get stuck waiting when that threat becomes imminent.

“Well, it’s better to get it early so you don’t’ have to get it in the crunch of everything,” Despirito said. “When they said two of them, I was like, 2020’s been enough.”

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