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Treasure Coast residents prepare homes, shutters ahead of Nicole

Some Treasure Coast residents get early start on storm preps
Posted at 10:36 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 22:55:57-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — JR Henry is ready for Christmas season, but he knows that hurricane season isn’t over yet.

"I was here for (Hurricane) Andrew (in 1992)," Henry recalled.

The Florida native said he's got metal shutters in the garage of his Fort Pierce rental home, ready to put up.

"Which I probably will as soon as I finish cleaning up the outside," Henry said Monday.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

Around the corner, Somaya Orianville was a few steps ahead.

"Definitely something you have to do to stay prepared," she said after Subtropical Storm Nicole formed.

Somaya said storms usually don't scare her, but she decided to act.

"We have four small children and a dog and we live (by the) ocean, so we just want to make sure we're fully prepared to keep our family safe," Orianville said.

Area shutter companies said whenever there's a storm on the possible horizon, their telephones are constantly ringing.

In Port St. Lucie, Expert Shutter Systems finished installing some accordion shutters Monday.

"We're pretty busy normally anyway, but you definitely see people picking up the urgency of getting stuff done for them," Expert Shutter Systems employee Phil Estes said.

Expert Shutter Systems employee Phil Estes installs hurricane shutters, Nov. 7, 2022
Expert Shutter Systems employee Phil Estes finishes installing accordion shutters at a home in Port St. Lucie.

Estes said the wait time for a new shutter system has dropped from several months to eight to 10 weeks.

For residents like Ana Curley, she knew when she moved to the area that her home already had accordion shutters, making storm preparations a little easier.

"If it goes a different way, great, but I have to be prepared," Curley said.

For longtime residents like Henry, he said, there's no need to panic when you're prepared year-round.

"Really, I'm just trying to avoid the flying objects," he said. "Otherwise, the prep is pretty much all year long for me."