Sanibel Island residents concerned as Idalia approaches

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Concerns are rising over a vulnerable Sanibel Island as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches Florida.

Even before you’re on the island, it’s easy to see that Sanibel is different. The causeway leads you to the island, and it also leads you to the conclusion that Sanibel is still vulnerable.

“We’re doing what we normally do for every storm. We take it seriously,” said Robin Aulino, Sanibel resident.

Robin and Carmen Aulino are taking Idalia seriously. With Ian, they got about seven feet of storm surge in their home.

“The lesson that we learned from the last one was the storm surge was pretty high, right? And we lost everything that we had stored below, so we would take more precautions on getting everything up,” Carmen said.

After Ian, the Aulinos’ house had downed trees and debris blocking their driveway.

They’ve made a lot of progress since then, but …

“It’s disheartening to have another storm come this way, and you start to wonder, are we going to get hit over and over and over again,” Carmen said.

Like so many others who came here for the island life, the Aulinos love Sanibel, and they’re here to stay despite the stormy weather.

“We’re going to try to divorce ourselves from the trauma of the previous one and look at this one objectively. Follow Matt and figure out what we need to do and when we need to do it, and we’ll follow our guides to evacuate if necessary, but we have a plan. We’re ready.”

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