PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WALA) - As Tropical Storm Isaac barreled on an apparent course toward the Gulf, Panhandle residents hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.
The same held true with many business owners, especially those directly on Pensacola Beach. They weren't taking any chances with the storm.
Bruce Parris, general manager of The Dock, said the beach side restaurant has seen a number of hurricanes in the 12+ years it has been in business.
"We're ready to go. It's the nature of what we do, so it's not a surprise or anything. We know it's coming," said Parris.
Parris said they plan to start cutting down the number of staff scheduled, as well as preparing to move all computers, food, drinks, and heavy equipment out.
He said the next step is dealing with the surge.
"We have garage doors and they'll be wide open so it can flow right through. There's no point in trying to keep it out. If it wants to come in, it'll come in and you'll get a lot more damage that way," Parris said.
The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier could also face the storm head on.
Kip Walker, assistant manager of the Gulf Pier, said they'd closely watch the waves to determine when they need to close the pier, as well as when they need to start moving items out of the store.
"We have to be wise about the decisions we make and the way we evacuate. We're here for good. If it does blow to the ground, we'll rebuild and be open next spring," said Walker.
Currently, Isaac is projected to be a weak storm.
But the area of landfall still unknown, so many business owners say they aren't too concerned about the possibility of structural damage.
However, that all could change depending on what the storm does in the next few days.
Parris said he believes the dock can withstand a hurricane.
"The structure is really sound, the building will still be here. We'll probably lose the roof but that's inevitable. We're doing the best we can," Parris said.
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