NewsPinellas County


Tarpon Springs businesses relieved Elsa's outcome was better than they prepared for

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Posted at 11:46 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 23:46:32-04

TARPON SPRINGS, Fl.-- — Businesses in Tarpon Springs braced for the impact from Elsa, but one day later, they were relieved the outcome was better than they prepared for.

Dimitri’s on the Water and Mykonos, across the street, are accustomed to flooding. So the restaurants closed down and lined up sandbags Tuesday, like others by the Sponge Docks.

“That was one of the main reasons we called it Dimitri’s on the Water because it floods here so much,” said the restaurant's owner Demetrio Salivaras.

“We really didn’t fare badly from it there wasn’t too much flooding,” said Christine Parise, an employee at My Favorite Store.

By Wednesday evening, there was no water that breached either side of the buildings.

“This looks great, this was awesome. We didn’t have a very high tide and the tide was coming out as the storm was passing so it worked out everything worked out,” said Salivaras.

The city closed some roads due to high tidal water Wednesday. It said tidal backflow devices installed near the sponge docks worked well to keep away the majority of tidal flooding. Some rainwater that pooled drained when the tide lowered.

It was the first major weather event since the completion of the project. It works by closing the storm drains to keep the tidal flow from the river from reaching the roads.

“We were blessed the drainage the way it worked it stopped the water from coming into the river so what they did the city did a lot of spending a lot of works down here at the sponge docks and it worked,” said Salivaras.