Brevard barrier island residents brace for Hurricane Irma

By James Sparvero - Reporter

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Ahead of the threat of Hurricane Irma, Jason Barnes is helping a property owner build up a seawall.

"When it rains it floods, so we're just trying to keep the water at bay," Barnes said, while working on his bulldozer.

South Tropical Trail in Merritt Island runs parallel to the Indian River and last year thanks to Hurricane Matthew, the road looked more like an extension of the river.

"There was huge trenches all through this road, Tropical Trail, up and down. Whoever didn't have their seawall built properly, all their land was in the river," said Barnes, a crew leader with Windward Building Company out of Indialantic.

Some people on the coast are boarding up already.

"We've got some gasoline. I'm getting some water prepared," said Bobby Ford, of South Tropical Trail, who told News 6 on Tuesday he and his family may soon evacuate.

"We're going to watch and see if it is going to be a direct threat. If there's any chance, we'll get out of here," Ford said.

"My wife has family in North Carolina so we might head that way. We have to see," Ford said.

Ford's neighbor Ron Folino said he's prepared to stay put.

"My house has all the hurricane-impact window protection. It's solid concrete. I have a standby generator," Folino said.

"Just make sure we're as prepared as possible. Board up the windows and ride it out," Barnes advised neighbors.

South Tropical Trail residents told News 6 they expect large amounts of debris should Irma have an impact on the Central Florida coast. Cleanup in Brevard County following following Hurricane Matthew last year took several weeks.

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