On September 6 the City of Marco Island declared a state of emergency for its residents, with a voluntary evacuation recommended. Come Friday, two days later, the island was barren. Imagine what it’s like during our offseason, how empty and slow it feels, and then times that by ten. Houses, businesses and restaurants were boarded up and the roads were barren. Those who remained were busy preparing for what was to come.Publix, 7-Eleven (despite being out of gasoline), and a few other convenience stores remained open, providing islanders with their last minute hurricane supplies. Oscar Galvez, owner of local coffee shop Wake Up Marco, also kept his doors open to islanders in need of a caffeine fix, though his windows were boarded up.
Local photographer Frank Steiger toured Marco Island and took some photos that represent the “calm before the storm,” while I took photos of islanders and their preparations. The weather was nice, albeit a little warm, and the town was quiet.