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Coastal, low-lying areas in Big Bend begin preparations for Tropical Storm Laura

Posted at 6:43 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 23:10:28-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Waters along the third coast are calm but, with the potential threat of Tropical Storm Laura, residents are getting prepared.

Living on the coast you always need your hurricane plan, whether it’s hunkering down or moving inland to higher ground.

Franklin and Wakulla counties are alerting people in the area that a possible storm could come their way.

Emergency Management Services are monitoring the storm and urging people to get ready in case it makes a detour and comes their way.

Low-lying areas like Shell Point could see flooding.

Many longtime residents say they are used to this and they've learned to prepare ahead of time just in case.

Authorities are encouraging people to begin tying down objects that may flip over with strong winds and says now is a good time to pick up any supplies for power outages, like batteries and flashlights.

"Well, we make sure that we have water and non-perishable food and we stock the cooler with some ice and we put things away that we know can blow away," said Patricia Whittaker, a Wakulla County resident.

Although people are prepared where we live, they hope Tropical Storm Laura won't pack a strong punch.

"Just kind of fizzle out and go somewhere else," said Whittaker.

Whittaker shares the same feeling as people on the coast when Hurricane season comes around who say being prepared is simple.

Whittaker has lived in Wakulla County for years and is used to riding storms out, but for Christina Caraway and her family, they head inland to avoid flooding.

"We just ride out the storm, usually in Tallahassee in a hotel," Christina Carraway said.

With the potential of high water levels and heavy rain with tropical systems, they like to play it safe.

They have advice for those not used to hurricane season on the coast.

"Stay away from trees that look dangerous and can just go on the house," Carraway said. "That’s our biggest worry with storms, and get out of the flood zones cause once you’re there you’re trapped."

Wakulla and Franklin County Officials tracking the storm sending messages to their communities to get prepared in case the storm takes a detour towards them.

Officials are reminding people to tie down loose objects outside and grab necessities like batteries and water when at the store.

Despite the track of the storm people near the shoreline say they're always prepared.

Tropical Storm Laura's track took a westward turn Friday afternoon towards Pensacola.