Southwest Florida still preparing as Tropical Storm Elsa slows

Reporter: Zach Oliveri, Justin Kase Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Charlotte County

Leaders in Charlotte County aren’t letting their guard down as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches Southwest Florida. Emergency management operations there are currently at Level 2, which means partial activation.

Some took advantage of the holiday to get out onto the water and enjoy the sun before Elsa arrives.

Mike Laney and Maggie Marigold of Punta Gorda are hoping for the best. “We’re going to keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not too bad.”

The biggest concern for Laney and Marigold is the storm surge. They saw what Tropical Storm Eta did last year. The water reached their foundation.

“For us, it was scary because we only moved here a couple years ago. So being on the water, watching it come up over the banks and come toward the house,” Laney said.

With Tropical Storm Elsa looming, Charlotte County Emergency Management Director Patrick Fuller says there’s no reason to worry just yet.

“It doesn’t appear we have the storm surge that would indicate a significant threat. In fact, most of the advisories are trending in our favor at this point. Keeping a close eye on things, of course, things can change.”

Fuller said they had to account for the Fourth of July holiday when finalizing the preparations.

“We knew going into the weekend that to save us some time, put a couple shelters on standby, ensure we have staffing in place in case we have to call people back.”

There are still many necessities available like water, batteries, flashlights and food. People in Punta Gorda say they are ready.

“We will bring in all of our stuff in off the lanai and off the porch. We’ve got some extra food, got all the water,” said Rolf Simonson.

“We have been stocked up. We’re always stocked up just in case,” said Laraine Agren.

Officials are saying that shelters aren’t necessary right now, but they hope to make a decision Monday. The Charlotte County Commission will meet in the morning to decide whether to declare a local state of emergency.


Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.