“Marco Island Takes Precautions as Tropical Storm Idalia Brings Wind, Rain, and Tornado Warnings“
Amidst the impact of Tropical Storm Idalia, Marco Island has set up a limited call center to address inquiries until 10 p.m. Assistant City Manager Casey Lucius confirmed that residents can expect their calls to be answered. While a tropical storm warning was in effect until 7:15 p.m., the island’s Emergency Operation Center remained inactive, and city offices continued to operate during regular hours. However, to ensure safety, Mackle Park and Raquet Center were closed at 5 p.m. and were set to reopen at 8 a.m., while Marco Island Healthcare Center shut down at 2 p.m.
Though the area experienced four tornado warnings by 5 p.m., there was no confirmation of any touchdown by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Miami. During the tornado warnings, students at Tommy Barfield elementary and middle schools took shelter in hallways.
Marco Island Fire Chief Chris Byrne reported that there were no signs of a tornado touchdown in the Tallwood, Bald Eagle, and North Barfield areas after reconnaissance by fire rescue units.
Emergency personnel continued to patrol Marco Island and Goodland to manage drainage, assess traffic signals, and monitor flooding. The Caxambas region, particularly vulnerable due to previous storm surges, was being closely watched.
As street flooding was reported, particularly in Goodland, the Police Department and Fire Rescue teams responded to alarms and assisted individuals trapped in elevators.
To brace for potential repercussions, both Marco Island and Everglades City declared states of emergency through special city council meetings. This strategic move enables the cities to access Federal Emergency Management reimbursements and state funding following the storm.
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