Areas of Southwest Florida prone to flooding, like Fort Myers Beach, are now preparing for Tropical Depression Fred, likely to be a tropical storm by the weekend.
All you need is a shovel or something for scooping sand into a bag and you can load up on anti-flood sandbags behind the Fort Myers Beach town hall at 2525 Estero Blvd. People in low-lying areas are being cautioned not to take chances. The town is keeping a particularly close eye on Fred because it got hit pretty bad by Eta in 2020, the outer bands flooding streets and businesses.
Many residents aren’t too concerned this time around, though. Business owners say they are looking out for the possibility of flooding and will likely secure some outdoor furniture so that it doesn’t get knocked over. But visitors to the beach say they don’t plan on letting rain ruin their plans.
“I wouldn’t be too concerned right now; based on what the weather people are telling us right now, it is supposed to be a very mild tropical storm, not so much a hurricane, so we will be OK,” said Fred Turpe, from North Carolina.
“Not too worried,” said Lori Ski, from Cape Coral. “I like to keep a watch on it, but I try to just stay chill and keep my eyes open.”
Once wind gusts get higher than 20 mph, wind sports like parasailing or kite surfing are grounded, which may dampen vacation plans for some people.
“They might not have wind and water sports, they might not rent out the chairs the day the storm is supposed to come through,” said Lani Kai marketing director Melissa Schneider. “However, that still doesn’t stop people from enjoying the beach.”