Southwest Florida in preparation for Tropical Storm Eta’s arrival

Published: Updated:
marco island
Marco Island ahead of Eta

Marco Island 

Many on Marco Island were trying to enjoy the last bit of their weekend before Tropical Storm Eta interrupted.

Within the last hour, WINK News Anchor Justin Kase has seen rain and winds pickup head of the storm. The surf still seems to be somewhat calm.

One woman spent her time picking up trash. “I might as well pick up the little bits I can right now before it hits. So yeah, and get some exercise too,” said Julia Byrne, Marco Island resident.

Now, the beaches are pretty empty, with the exception of a few people strolling. Almost all of the people WINK News spoke to were from out of state and came to Marco this weekend to get away from the cold, the election and COVID-19. Most came before they even knew about the storm.

Chad and Brooke Barber who are visiting from Delaware. “And the rest of our vacations, at least while we stay inside, it’ll be fine. We can play games. And we can watch TV,”  said Barber.

Byrne likes to keep the beaches beautiful. But, since Eta is coming, she wanted to be as prepared as possible.  “I kind of gathered chairs and plants and anything that would blow away, bird feeder, things like that,” Byrne said.

But, the visitors are remaining hopeful and staying together. “So as long as we’re together, we’re going to have a blast and whether that’s inside or outside on an overcast day like this,” said the Barbers.

Besides, anything is better than winter weather. “A rainy day in Florida is better than a 40-degree sunny day in Connecticut. That’s how we look at it,” said the Magans who are here from Connecticut.

Jacob Bazyk is from Vermont. “I surf, I windsurf, skimboard, do it all. So, I’ve been keeping up with the… been trying to keep up with the surf,” he said.

As a reminder to those living on Marco Island, trash pickup has been moved to Thursday. The city is urging people to secure trash cans and other outdoor items ahead of Tropical Storm Eta.

Chad and Brooke Barber just hope everyone is safe. “My heart is just with those who are affected,” they said.


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