Lake County residents preparing ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa

Storm preparations are underway along Florida’s west coast. Some of Central Florida’s western counties also preparing in case the storm takes a turn. 

In Sorrento, there was a steady flow of locals filing into the East Lakes Sports Community Complex to fill up sandbags.  

"We need to be ready. That’s what we’re doing here today," said Thomas Carpenter, the director of Emergency Management in Lake County. 

Steve Pate and Connor Stevens were two of the many who showed up to load up on sandbags.  

 "It’s really hot and it’s also really windy," Stevens said. 

The work was a bit of a grind for young Connor but the efforts are well worth it. 

"We got a room that we call the mudroom. Every time it rains mud washes in," Pate said. 

The sand is being provided by Lake County for homes like Pate’s and is just one step in preparing for Tropical Storm Elsa and hurricane season.

"Making sure you have a personal plan and everything in place," Carpenter said. "Then, make sure you have water, medication, everything lined up, where you have to stay in the event of a hurricane."

The Lake County Emergency Operations Center has raised a Level 2 alert for Tropical Storm Elsa. The county's latest projections have the worst of the storm striking north of the county but strong gusts and heavy rains could bring some damage. 

"We know the conditions are similar to what they were last year," Carpenter said. "Not saying we’re going to have a record-setting year like last year, but climate conditions are similar so we need to be ready."

Carpenter believes the county is in a good shape to be able to handle all the rain that Elsa is expected to bring but recent heavy rains may cause some flash flooding. 

You can sign up for Lake County’s emergency notification system by going to