Elsa is once again a tropical storm after being downgraded early Saturday, but it still has Florida – and the Bay area – in her sights. The storm is projected to hit the west coast of Florida early next week.
Elsa is currently over portions of the Domicaincan Republic and Haiti, and a tropical storm warning has been issued for Eastern Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Though the Fourth of July weekend will be a rainy one, tropical storm winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surge aren’t expected to reach South Florida until Monday, June 5.
Pinellas residents are encouraged to prepare now for storm conditions through Tuesday.
Gulfport: Self service sandbags will be available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, July 4 at the 49th Street Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th St. S.
“There is a 10-bag limit and proof of residency may be required,” said Justin Shea, Gulfport’s Cultural Facilities Events Supervisor.
According to the city, a Gulfport Information Call Center will be open for storm preparedness questions on Sunday, July 4. The number is 727-893-1000
“This is the same system we put in place for Hurricane Irma,” Shea said.
Visit mygulfport.us for more.
St. Petersburg: The City of St. Petersburg makes sandbags available when an official storm warning is issued for the area.
Find more resources here.
St. Pete Beach: Sandbags are available in the parking lot between Public Works and Horan Park, 7581 Boca Ciega Dr.
If anyone needs additional bags or assistance, staff at the St. Pete Beach Community Center are available Saturday, July 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday, July 4 from 12-3 p.m. The Community Center will be open for assistance on Monday, July 5 from 12-3 p.m. and Tuesday, July 6 from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Madeira Beach: Sandbags will be self-service throughout the Fourth of July weekend. Bags will be available at the Madeira Beach Fire Station, 300 Municipal Dr. Sand is self-service from the east side of John’s Pass Park.
If your municipality does not have advertised plans at this time, Pinellas County resources are available.
Pinellas County Resources
For residents with hurricane prep questions, the County Information Center is open at 727-464-4333. Residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the CIC via online chat at bit.ly/PinellasChat.
The county advises all residents to have a plan in the event you need to shelter in place or evacuate. You can find your evacuation zone at pinellascounty.org/knowyourzone or call 727-453-3150 and enter your 10-digit home phone number.
Residents can also sign up for Alert Pinellas at pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas and review tips and planning tools in the 2020 All Hazard Guide online at pinellascounty.org/emergency, including shelter information, sandbag location and hurricane supply recommendations.
For those who require special needs shelter accommodations, you can by calling the County Information Center at 727-464-4333, even if you are transporting yourself to the shelter. Registration is required for those needing transportation assistance. Residents only need to register for special needs shelters once per season, so doing it now will help you for the rest of the year.