COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Friday afternoon Collier County Commissioners declared a state of emergency. Emergency Management officials have also put voluntary evacuations in place for low lying areas near the coast.
Addressing the Board of County Commissioners, Dan Summers, director of Emergency Services explained he wants to error on the side of caution.
"We have to be careful to we don't over warn and we don't over evacuate nor have we under resourced ourselves for last minute needs should the storm escalate," says Summers.
Summers put in place what is called a voluntary precautionary evacuation for Saturday. "That means if you have the time and the resources or are visiting, Saturday is the day for you to leave," says Summers.
Mark Pelensky and his wife are visiting Marco Island from Vero Beach and are doing just that. "Given the uncertainties, we decided to cut our stay short. We'll stay tonight and then head home."
Sunday officials put in place a recommended evacuation for areas south and west of US 41. Summers says, "US 41 provides a good geographic decision of the areas that are subject to the storm surge that we're concerned about."
Areas of concern include Wiggins Pass in North Naples, Old Naples, Naples Bay, Marco Island and Everglades City as those low lying spots are subject to the storm surge.
Marco Island resident Katherine Canady has lived on the island for 45 years. She says, "I will pay attention Sunday and take it from there, but I won't leave. I'm ready. I'm ready for the storm if it comes."
County Commissioners also approved a maximum $500,000 spending cap to be used for any storm cleanup projects.
Collier County officials will reevaluate the forecast Saturday to determine if further action is necessary.
Friday afternoon, North Naples Fire District also declared a state of emergency and activated their CERT volunteer teams.