Suncoast residents prepare for storm impacts

The Suncoast is being put on notice for potentially dangerous affects from Idalia.
The Suncoast is being put on notice for potentially dangerous affects from Idalia.(Jordan Littwiller)
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 6:14 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Idalia is putting the Suncoast on notice.

Cautious residents are making sure their tanks are filled at packed gas stations.

“We are kind of on the lookout for anything, so we are just making sure that we are staying safe,” Suncoast resident Jamil Veldkamb.

Others spent the day enjoying the calm before the storm, soaking in a beautiful Sunday afternoon before Idalia’s projected trip up the Gulf of Mexico.

Boaters like Jim Ferguson are preparing to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

“I’m going to move it to land just to be safe. You just never know. It could be a tropical storm that could turn into a hurricane. It could get worse. you just never know,” he says.

Farther up the Suncoast, Anna Maria Island businessowner Tom Anderson says it will have to progress into a stronger storm before he steps into action, saying, “We’ll start taking the precautions once it’s around [Category] 2, as far as boarding up the windows, covering up the carts, bringing all the extra bikes inside.”

While Bill Hill, who lives a mile away from the island, hopes to avoid any damage to his property.

“I’m in between the island and the causeway, so my concern is my levels and flooding because I am on the bottom floor. I’d be concerned about that,” Hill states.

As the time to prepare dwindles, the CEO of Senior Friendship Centers, Erin McLeod, offers advice.

“Communicate your plan, assemble all your supplies and make sure you have what you need whether you are going to stay or go. And make sure you know your neighbors. Those three over-arching areas will make such a difference in the way someone is able to weather a storm,” McLeod advises.