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Emergency crews prepare for severe flooding in Cedar Key from Tropical Storm Colin

Tourists plan to ride out storm

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CEDAR KEY, Fla. – With high tide just a couple of hours away, emergency crews in Cedar Key are out in full force Monday preparing for severe flooding expected to accompany Tropical Storm Colin.

"We have seen this town flood to 2 to 3 and 4 feet in the past," Cedar Key public works director Bill Crandley told WPLG. "It'll happen again. Let's hope it's not today."

The small town is 60 miles southwest of Gainesville and is usually a popular vacation spot in the summer. On Monday, it was a ghost town, even though most hotels are still accepting reservations.

Meanwhile, fishermen are canceling their day trips on the Gulf of Mexico and the city is planning to shut down all four bridges and the airport, making it impossible for anyone to get on or off the island.

"We definitely anticipate flooding on the island," Crandley said. "If it does flood, then in order to get back over the bridge, you will need a re-entry pass and there will a police officer and sheriff stationed at the Number 4 Bridge."

But not everyone is allowing Mother Nature to ruin their plans.

"We didn't come down for the storm. We came down for a mother-daughter weekend," Mary Dyal said.

Michelle and Mary Dyal are in town from Tallahassee. They said they plan to ride out the storm together and are not sure when they’ll make it home.

"We actually went kayaking yesterday morning," Mary Dyal said.

"Are you going to go kayaking in this today?" WPLG reporter Michael Seidan asked.

"Heck no. No, I may be crazy but I ain't that crazy," she said.

Cedar Key remains under a storm watch for the remainder of the day. High tide is expected at 3 p.m. and the storm is expected to make landfall at about 7 p.m.