HERNANDO BEACH, Fla. - As Eta made its way up Florida's west coast, northern parts of the Tampa Bay area braced for a possible direct impact from the storm.
Hernando County officials declared a local state of emergency and ordered voluntary evacuations in Zone A coastal areas, as well as other low lying flood-prone areas. Those living in RVs and mobile homes were part of the voluntary evacuation.
They expect storm surge anywhere from 2 to 4 feet, which may lead to some street flooding. A flash flood advisory was in effect Wednesday evening.
The county has at least one shelter open for people at the Hernando Mining Association Enrichment Center in Brooksville.
Farther north, in Citrus County, officials are also preparing for impacts from the tropical storm.
They don’t expect water to wash over US 19, but they do say the usual flood-prone spots like the Fort Island Trail and Ozello areas could see some flooding.
Pasco County officials also declared a local state of emergency and asked residents to stay home unless there was an emergency.
Residents at local sandbag pickup sites said they feel as prepared as possible, considering how quickly the storm shifted toward their county.
Many have the experience of preparing for Hurricane Irma back in 2017. Many said they were just worried about flooding.
The Pasco County Board of Commissioners said the emergency operations center is operating at a modified Level 1 status.