With Tropical Storm Idalia gaining strength near the Yucatán Channel in Mexico, experts are advising Floridians to remain vigilant and ensure their hurricane plans are in place.
Ahead of an impending storm system that could potentially escalate into Hurricane Idalia, numerous Tampa Bay area governments are stepping up by providing sandbag stations for residents. While sandbags can offer protection against minor water intrusion, it’s crucial to understand that they are not effective against storm surge or major flooding.
Pinellas County The city of St. Petersburg is operating a complimentary sandbag station at the Pavement and Traffic Operations Building, available five days a week throughout the year. Recognizing the threat of Idalia, the city has extended its hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Sunday and Monday, in anticipation of the storm’s approach.
Residents can find self-service sandbags at various locations, including Lake Vista Recreation Center, Lakewood sports complex, Grandview Park, Childs Park, Campbell Park, Azalea Park, Walter Fuller Park, and the Garden Club of St. Petersburg. Full-service locations with city staff assistance are also available at Northeast Park, Lake Maggiore Park, and Northwest Pool.
Hillsborough County The city of Tampa has activated three sandbag distribution sites on Sunday. These sites will be accessible from 8 a.m. to noon for seniors and residents with special needs, and open to the general public from noon onward. Locations include Himes Avenue Complex, Al Barnes Park, and MacFarlane Park.
Pasco County Pasco County is offering around-the-clock access to self-serve sandbag stations. These stations are available throughout the week and can be found at the Pasco County Public Works (C-Barn) and Magnolia Valley Golf Course. Additionally, an extra sandbag location has been introduced in anticipation of heavy rain, at the former Dade City Police Department building in Dade City.
It’s advised to stay updated through official sources and adhere to guidelines from local authorities as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches. Taking necessary precautions and staying informed can help mitigate potential risks associated with severe weather events.