TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Sanibel Island is known for its white, sandy beaches and shelling. This week, the island is packed with people on vacation from all over the country. Many of them have waited for more than a year to travel because of the pandemic and they are happy to be out in public again.

Tal Yahav opened a souvenir store in Sanibel eight months ago and says business is finally starting to pick back up.

“I think people are ready to travel. People were stuck in their houses for a long time and they are ready to have fun again,” Yahav said.

Now, he’s concerned as Tropical Storm Elsa is approaching.

“Yea, there is a concern. Usually, when they come to Sanibel they come for a week and I think this is the beginning of the week and if people are going to leave and go back home, we (are) going to lose a lot of business,” he said.

Tracy Jester is on vacation with her family and keeping a close eye on weather reports about Elsa.

“We’re hoping to finish out our vacation, so we’ll see what happens,” Jester said, who’s never been in a tropical storm or hurricane before and is worried about what Elsa may bring.

“We’re in a condo, we’re on the third floor, so I guess we’re just going to try and ride it out and hope and pray that it doesn’t get too bad,” she said.

Melanie Norris is on vacation from Illinois and also worried about the storm.

“We’ve been watching the weather, keeping our fingers crossed that it stays away and isn’t as bad as they say it will be,” Norris said.

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