7/6 Updated Tropical Storm Elsa Update from the City Manager

Posted on July 6, 2021



Friends, Residents, and Tourists,

Do not panic, but now is the time to implement your plan. This storm is taking a similar path to Eta as it approaches us and makes landfall to our North. It will be close to our shore tonight and through the morning hours Wednesday. The high tide in our area is around 1:30 – 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning but Pinellas County expects flooding to occur on the barrier islands by 10 p.m. with seas being 3 – 5 feet. So please take not that your evacuation must occur before 8 p.m., for your safety. Additionally, it is projected that our winds will be over 60 mph this evening and the Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office cannot safely respond to help you, until the winds subside.

The most important message is it is safest for you and your family, and pets, to evacuate before 2 p.m.!

As previously mentioned, the County will not open all of the shelters unless there is an expectation of hurricane force winds. So far, they have opened one shelter at Lealman Exchange, 5175 45th St N in St. Petersburg for general evacuation, special needs, and is also pet friendly.  Expect crowded conditions and noise, which is why having your personal plan is the best option. It is still not too late to make a reservation with a hotel on high ground with a generator. Secure your house and turn the breakers off except for your refrigerators and evacuate.

  • Secure your home and place a plastic barrier down with sandbags on top with minimal gaps between the bags. Sandbags will be available until Noon today, depending on the supply.
  • Implement your evacuation plan now! Take your valuables and pets with you, to a friends or relatives house, or a hotel on high land. Take some pictures of your home for insurance purposes.
  • If you decide to shelter in place, you are making a commitment to stay in your home during the storm. If your home floods, please remember downed power lines can energize standing water and can kill you or members of your family. If you home floods, turn your breakers off so chances are you will not be shocked.
  • After the storm if you shelter in place, make sure it is safe to exit your home and again take photographs of the interior of your home and the exterior. Photograph any evidence of the flood water height inside and outside your home, preferably water marks by your front and back doors.
  • We will have City damage assessment teams out on Wednesday as soon as conditions are safe. They will have City identification and we ask that you cooperate with their documentation requirements before you start stripping items out of your home. Representatives from our building department will also be available to answer questions.
  • City Hall will be closed to the public Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
    • We will have our phones at City Hall operating on Wednesday July 7, 2021 as soon as staff can return.
  • Tom Stuart Causeway will have restricted access starting at 6pm on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 per Pinellas County
    • Residents and Business owners will be allowed on the island
  • Outlets to follow for storm updates:

Now is not the time to:

  • DO NOT TRIM your trees. Sanitation cannot pick-up the debris and it will be a blowing weapon in the wind.
  • Do not evacuate in the middle of the storm. Evacuate early as they will be no help available during the storm and you could step on a downed power line, or it could energize the water you need to walk through. Also, your car might stall if the flooding occurs from salt water and will damage your engine.

Sanitation services will be suspended on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 and should resume Thursday, July 8, 2021. Additionally, I have to thank all of the volunteers that have been filling sandbags or helping their neighbors. Neighbors helping neighbors is impressive and I would not expect anything else from our residents.

We will send an update later today. Keep informed. Should you have any questions, please e-mail me at rdaniels@madeirabeachfl.gov.

Good Luck and be safe,

Bob Daniels
City Manager, City of Madeira Beach

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