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Florida’s Beaches Serve During Sandbag Shortage

It seemed an obvious solution to Michael Oded, who was asked at the last minute Friday to get sandbags and secure his friend’s Davis Islands home from flooding.

“I was like looking on TV and I see these like two-hour lines of people waiting for sand,” Oded said as he shoveled beach sand into a white fabric bag. “I was just like – you know - we live in Florida. “It’s (the beach) pretty convenient, didn’t have to do any lines, got a lot of sand.”

Floridians could be seen doing the same in the background of television news live shots along the beaches.

In locations like Fort Myers Beach, it’s illegal to remove beach sand. And there is a Florida statute prohibiting removal of sea oats and sea grapes.

Rules governing Ft. Lauderdale’s beaches prohibit swimming with long pants and shoes, but there’s no mention of sand removal in its online regulations online.

When hurricanes and storms come ashore, sand is usually one of the first casualties, hence the state’s numerous beach re-nourishment projects.

Oded said the danger of Hurricane Irma hit home Friday when the city of Tampa ordered mandatory evacuations for people living in low-lying areas.

“I really wasn’t that concerned cause I was like, ‘Oh, it’s just going to hit the east coast,’” Oded said. “But then – I don’t know - they like did the evacuation for A (level) which is where I live. So now, I kind of have to start thinking on where to go.”

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