GULFPORT, Fla. - Beachside communities in Pinellas County did their best to lock everything down as Eta made its way toward the Bay Area Wednesday.
By noon, waves were almost to the steps of the Paradise Grille on Pass-a-Grille Beach and people were stowing away beach chairs and umbrellas.
By 8 p.m., water had spilled into streets and up to the doorways of businesses from St. Pete Beach to Gulfport to Clearwater.
Eastbound lanes of the Courtney Campbell Causeway were closed due to high winds and water blowing onto the lanes.
Clearwater police said drivers cannot get to Tampa from Clearwater on the Courtney Campbell.
In St. Pete Beach, side streets along Pasadena Avenue were underwater Wednesday night. Several cars were stalled along the side of the roadway.
Aside from flooding, power outages were the main concern Wednesday evening. Duke Energy's outage map showed nearly 30,000 without power around 10:30 p.m.
All Pinellas County public schools were dismissed early Wednesday and will be closed Thursday, Nov. 12.
The county has opened two shelters -- The Ross Norton Recreation Complex located at 1426 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in Clearwater and Lealman Exchange located at 45th St. N. in St. Petersburg.
If residents do go to a shelter, they are asked to bring personal PPE. They will also be given a rapid COVID-19 test, which should provide results in about 15 minutes. If someone does test positive for COVID-19 they will not be turned away. Instead, they will be taken to a separate area.
LINK: Track Eta on MyFoxHurricane.com
The county is also providing transportation for those with special needs. Anyone in need of that service is asked to call 727-464-4333.