Manatee, Sarasota counties keep eyes on Eta

Sarasota and Manatee counties began preparing for the tropical storm last week. Monday, both saw rain and wind gusts.

Crews with the city of Sarasota were out at Pioneer Park, cutting up and clearing out a 60-foot tree that fell overnight as strong wind gusts hit the area.

Luckily, that's the only significant damage reported, so far. There has been heavy rain showers at times, but nothing too heavy to cause flooding.

The city of Sarasota cleared out storm drains to prepare for the storm last week. Schools in Sarasota County were closed due to concerns from Tropical Storm Eta.

MORE: Where will Eta make landfall? Tampa Bay begins feeling storm impacts

While it appears we may be in the clear for now, local emergency management officials say this is a storm we need to keep our eye on.

Meanwhile, heavy rain and gusty winds were no match for Jennifer and Tyger Smart, owners of an event planning business called PBJ Unique Creations in Sarasota.

"No tropical storm is going to stop us," said Jennifer. "We woke up this morning and we were like 'let’s go.'"

On Siesta Key, they fought the elements so a couple from Ohio could say "I do."

"Right when we set up the tables and chairs we had a downpour. Our philosophy is adapt and overcome," said Tyger.

The couple already had their special day turned upside down from COVID-19.

"Our bride had to reschedule three times and we said no matter what we will make this happen for her," Said Jennifer.

A break in the weather allowed the pair to walk down the aisle. As they began their celebration, emergency management officials continue to track Tropical Storm Eta.

"Residents don’t need to take their eyes off this storm, it’s not over yet," said Sarasota County Emergency Management Director Ed McCrane.

Officials from both Sarasota and Manatee Counties said residents should be ready just like this couple, with a plan.

"These storms are unpredictable especially when they get out in the gulf if it takes a strong turn we are really looking at storm surge," said Manatee County Public Safety Director Jacob Saur.