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Taylor County residents, Emergency Management brace for Elsa

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 17:09:59-04

TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — As Elsa moves closer to Florida, counties in its projected path, like Taylor County known to have flooding issues are working to prepare for impacts from the storm.

Taylor County Emergency Management says they're encouraging the community to get prepared.

Workers at the Steinhatchee sandbag location say they saw a constant flow of people filling up. Still, others say they'll just wait the storm out.

The Steinhatchee community is now doing what they can to prepare ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.

At the Taylor County Emergency Management Operations, preparations begin with a string of conference calls.

"We have four calls daily between the National Hurricane Center and the state, and even more if the storm picks up," said Kristy Alexander with Taylor County.

Now, they're encouraging the community to be on standby, prompting many to stock up on sandbags to keep the water out.

"There's so much water that comes down through there off that river, the sandbags, all it's going to do is make it go around," said Billy Barnett, a Taylor County resident.

Steinhatchee realtor Billy Barnett has lived in the coastal community since 1967. He says he's used to the storms and even flooding during regular rainstorms.

"Our house on the river, it didn't flood last year, but usually it floods every year, about three to four feet in the yard," Barnett said. "Usually, I just stay out about three-four days and then come back home."

In 2019, nearly 30 inches fell in a three-day period displacing roughly 100 families.

"If you're like us and you live on the coast, you know it's just something you have to do if you live in paradise," said Ricky Morrow.

Emergency Management says although there is a 25 bag limit they encourage people to contact them if they feel 25 isn't enough to protect their homes.

If they decide to activate a shelter it will be at Taylor High School.