NewsPinellas County


City of Gulfport prepares for Tropical Storm Elsa

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Posted at 7:42 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 23:33:37-04

GULFPORT, Fla. — Gulfport officials are preparing for coastal flooding as Tropical Storm Elsa inches closer.

Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson said businesses along on Beach Blvd. South usually see flooding during a powerful hurricane or tropical storm.

"It's the coastal flooding. We got a long fetch across Boca Ciega Bay so when you got storm surge pushing in especially with any kind of a high tide. We get a lot of water coverage here on Shore Blvd and of course the higher the surge, the higher the tide, the higher the wind speed, the more it gets pushed inland," said Mayor Henderson.

Henderson said they are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. He urges residents to not get complacent.

In November 2020, businesses saw flooding with Tropical Storm Eta.

Mayor Henderson said another concern is loose vessels. He urges boat owners to properly secure their vessels.

"If we have loose vessels wash into shore if they’re not secure well enough, we’ve opened up our municipal morning balls just for the duration of the storm to people who are usually not on there just because those are secure and if it’s done correctly those boats aren’t going to go anywhere," said Henderson.

Sam Brody said he lives on a boat part-time. His boat sank during Eta and says he is better prepared for Elsa.

"The part that steers the boat ripped completely out basically the storm was so violent. Eta lasted a really long time. It was like an all-day thing and throughout the night," he said.

Sandbags will be available at 8 a.m. at the Gulfport Neighborhood Center on 49th Street South starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

"We’ve had our sandbag location set up for the last couple of days. It will be open tomorrow until the weather gets too rough," said Henderson.