Sanibel officials prepare for potential impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa
SANIBEL, Fla. – City and County officials are bracing the Sanibel Captiva Road area ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa, an area deemed a “Critical Erosion Area” by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge are some effects of a major storm that residents on the islands are used to. With that also comes erosion.
“We definitely have a lot less beach now than what we did ten years ago,” part-time resident Jen Shaver said.
Visitors like Susan and Greg Shepard notice it too.
“We love this place. It just calls us back every year. We plan our whole year around it,” Susan said.
With each trip, Susan said, Blind Pass Beach is nearly unrecognizable.
“Those wooden pillars were never exposed when we started coming. It was out a lot further. There was even a palm tree that we would always use as our spot to stop at,” Susan said.
With that erosion comes flooding onto Sanibel-Captiva Road. Shaver said it’s been a problem for years even outside hurricane season. As Elsa approaches the coast, she said she is grateful the city and county took precautions.
“I think the major change that has been made is there’s this sea wall that they put in I believe in 2019,” Susan said.
Along with regular beach dredging, “…they try to refortify these beaches…they have to. Because if not, they’ll just disappear,” Gene Bradley said.
Those things leave residents and visitors more at ease Monday night.
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