Evacuees enjoy beaches in SWFL, avoid Dorian on east coast

As Southwest Florida remains outside Hurricane Dorian’s forecast cone, many people from the east coast are taking advantage. Hotels and beaches along the Gulf Coast are full of evacuees, escaping conditions of the major storm. Although, SWFL is out of the cone, some of the outer bands chased people off the beach early Monday evening.

Still, people on Vanderbilt Beach in North Naples say they’re making the best out of a bad situation Monday.

“We were tracking the hurricane, and we decided this was the safest place to be,” said Arnaldo Da Silva from Boca Raton. “And we’ve been blessed. This is our fourth day in a row of sunshine on the beach.”

Da Silva and 24 family and friends left Boca for the safety of Naples. For some of them, Dorian is the first hurricane they have needed to prepare for, and they didn’t want to take any chances staying in its path.

“I was ready to leave everything behind, everything that was there,” Caroline DePaula said.

Right now, evacuees like Da Silva and DePaula are waiting for the consensus model’s track to become reality, when Dorian will turn and head away from the state.

“We have several friends in our community that decided not to leave,” Da Silva said. “And we are all concerned about them.”

“We don’t know if we’re going to be back tomorrow or two days from now,” DePaula said.

But while they wait, they’re enjoying the best of what Naples has to offer.

“We decided to come to a place where we can enjoy and at least make memories out of the hurricane,” Da Silva said.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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