NWFL officials urge residents to prepare for Ida impacts

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Northwest Florida is expected to be spared of any major impacts from Hurricane Ida, but preparations are underway just in case. 

Eric Gilmore, Escambia County Public Safety Director, told WKRG News 5 the county has upped its emergency staff in case Ida shifts east. 

“Just because that skinny black line goes to the Louisiana — it’s called the cone of uncertainty for a reason,” Gilmore said. “Even though we’re not in that cone, we can have effects well outside the cone and this thing could shift. So people need to be weather aware at all times.” 

Sand is available at several locations for the public to bag to help thwart flooding, which is the main concern for emergency officials in Escambia County. 

“We preach ‘know your zone,’” Gilmore said Friday. “Are you in a low-lying area? Where we have potential for heavy rains or along the coastline. Know your home. Is it resilient enough to sustain winds?”

Pensacola resident Lorraine Beermann was filling up sandbags at Brent Athletic Park Friday afternoon. She said her garage flooded during Hurricane Sally, which caught her off guard. 

Not this time, she said. 

“I was [concerned] this morning when I turned on the news and I saw that it wasn’t coming directly at us but it could come in as a hurricane — a category 3,” Beermann said. “So I just thought I’d better be prepared.” 

Preparation is key, even when there is a storm not heading your way, Gilmore said. 

“You should already have your plans,” he said. “We are well within hurricane season.”

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