KEY WEST, Fla. – As Tropical Depression Fred continued to move northwest, there was a tropical storm warning in effect on Saturday morning for the Florida Keys, west of the Seven Mile Bridge to the Dry Tortugas.
Some wind and rain made its way to the island chain, though the storm shifting away from the Keys has eased some nerves for locals and tourists alike.
Residents secured patio furniture on its side and tied down other items. Hazel Lefevra, who lives in Key West, said he wasn’t worried about Fred.
“Well, I got my beer and I have water and because I got a gas stove, I got things I can cook on a gas stove if we lose power. But I don’t think we’re gonna lose power,” Lefevra said.
Tye Harrell, a tourist Lakeland, Fla., said he had planned to stay in Key West for seven days.
“We were thinking about going home today, but we think we’re just gonna ride it out and see what happens,” Harrell said.
At a marina in Marathon, a long line of trucks was waiting to haul boats out of the water. Some drivers waited nearly two hours to secure their vessels ahead of the whipping winds that could damage their prized possessions.
Matthew Bullock said he was trying to get his boat out of the water early in preparation for the storm. He said he lived in Florida for 12 years and had been through some bad hurricanes. “I went through Charlie and two others, so yeah, we’re just trying to be safe.”
Monroe County Emergency Management was telling residents Friday that it was time to get prepared for the risk of flooding or storm surge. A warning for residents and visitors that might be in campgrounds, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, live-aboard vessels, and mobile homes said that they should prepare to seek shelter with friends or family in a safe structure through the duration of the storm.