Preparing for Arlene

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Bruce Schaffer is getting boats out of the water and preparing for a rainy weekend at Carrabelle Marina. He lost a beach house and a ton of boat business, courtesy of Hurricane Ivan last year, and he’s not thrilled about Arlene’s appearance.

Bruce Schaffer says, “It just completely wipes out a weekend as far as sales, as far as people looking at boats, using their boats.”

The big frustration for many folks along the Panhandle is they still have not recovered from Ivan. It seems cruel to be facing another threat just nine months later.

One boat shed used to have huge metal doors that Ivan ripped off. Repairs had just started this week, and now they’re on hold because of Arlene. Visitors are also disheartened.

Richard Howard wishes he was playing on the beach with his little boy. They have to make due with feeding seagulls instead. The family drove down from central Georgia in search of some Florida sunshine for their first family vacation of the year, but Arlene is spoiling their plans.

Richard Howard says, “We heard the storm was coming and we hoped we could beat it and at least get a few hours of sunshine in, a couple of hours of sunshine, but I don’t think we are. Looks like it’s going to rain the whole time.”

Locals and visitors alike hope rain is all they have to worry about. In advance of Tropical Storm Arlene, Jeb Bush is declaring a state of emergency. The governor’s emergency declaration gives counties in the storm’s path the authority to order and coordinate evacuations and prepare shelters if necessary.