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South Florida Cities Offer Free Sand Bags Ahead of Impacts From Eta

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While the center of Eta is not expected to directly hit South Florida, some cities are giving away free sand bags to residents ahead of expected flooding.

There is an increasing risk of impacts from wind and rain in portions of South Florida by this weekend and early next week.

The city of Fort Lauderdale will distribute sand bags to residents on Friday at Mills Pond Park from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until the supply runs out. Residents are told to bring their own shovels.

The city said they were making about 200,000 pounds of sand available for Fort Lauderdale residents.

"I want to protect my home. The last two weeks we had flooding so this time we want to be prepared," resident Anthony Irish said.

The city of Hialeah Gardens will be distributing sand bags to residents Sunday at 13601 Northwest 107 Avenue. All residents will be allowed up to five bags per vehicle. If you need further information please contact Mayor Yioset De La Cruz at 305-558-4144,

The City of Opa-locka will also distribute sandbags to city residents between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, while supplies last. The distribution will take place at the Public Works and Utilities Department located at 12950 Northwest 42nd Avenue.

Now a tropical depression, Eta unleashed heavy rainfall in Central America, leading to catastrophic flooding and leaving at least 57 dead. Eta was expected to re-strengthen to a tropical storm and head toward Cuba and possibly the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.

Angie Lassman has the latest on Eta, which is now a tropical depression.

The South Florida Water Management District said they are lowering canals and staffing pump stations and control rooms as they watch the forecast. They advised residents to secure any loose items that could clog storm drains or swales.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue also was reminding residents of safety precautions they can take.

"If you see standing water, whether it’s driving or walking or biking, it is never a good idea to walk or drive into flooded areas as water may be deeper than it appears hiding all kinds of hazards like debris or sharp objects," Fire Rescue spokesperson Erika Benitez said.

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