ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Holmes beach was empty Tuesday afternoon ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.
Lifeguards could be heard on speakers announcing the closure and asking beachgoers to leave the beach around 1:30 p.m.
The beach community is prone to flooding during storms.
“Everyone is preparing for the storm because you never know if it’s going to strengthen. So you have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario,” said Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer.
Chief Tokajer said the biggest concern is the threat of storm surge and flooding.
“It’s all about the surge. They’re saying 3 to 5 feet surge. We have high tide tomorrow at 10 o’clock in the morning so will keep monitoring for the surge and the high tide,” said Chief Tokajer.
Several pallets of sandbags at Holmes Beach were quickly emptied Tuesday.
“It’s nice being in paradise. I love the water views, but, when it comes to inside your house it’s not as much fun,” said Denny Newbrey, who lives nearby. He filled up sandbags to try to protect his home. “In November we had to completely gut of the house, dry it out, do all new flooring, everything. Hopefully, it’s not the same thing this time.”
At nearby Holmes Beach City Hall residents were filling sandbags from dump trucks full of sand.
“As far as surge goes, you can’t be too careful with that. I live right on the Bay and I got a canal in the backyard, so I got water all around me,” said Jim Carden, who also got sandbags Tuesday.