PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas deputies closed access to the barrier islands from Tierra Verde to the Dunedin Causeway at midnight Wednesday.

Flooding and wind damage are still major concerns across Pinellas County.

Whether or not residents have a re-entry pass, they cannot re-enter the barrier islands until after the storm passes and law enforcement determines it is safe to re-open.

While many people evacuated, there were some who stuck around.

John Jaso has lived in St. Pete Beach for more than 20 years. He’s never dealt with flooding or damage at his current home, but he’s doing the best he can to prepare for the hurricane.

“I feel like we still have 24 hours to make a decision before we either have to leave or ride it out, Jaso said. “I don’t know if those plywood are going to protect from the surge, but we’ll see.”

“I sail. I do a lot of storm stuff, and really the preparedness and doing your diligence kind of like keeps your your mind stable, I guess, so you don’t want to do is freak out,” Jaso said.

John Leonard owns Finish Line Scooters. He’s spent 13 years at his current location in St. Pete Beach. He also says he’s not leaving.

“I will protect what I got,” Leonard said. “Bottom line is if someone needs something last minute I am here.”

Which is one reason why he says he’s staying. He’s also concerned if he leaves, people may break in.

“They actually take advantage of the fact before the storm even. They’ll actually break in now,” Leonard said.

Leonard says he lived through Hurricane Andrew. His house was destroyed. But here in St. Pete, he has faith that everything, including his business, will make it through the storm.

“I believe in the Lord and the bottom line of it is there was a blessing put on this Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach,” Leonard said.