KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Some stores in Key West, Florida, are closed but others remain open as rain and wind gusts from Tropical Storm Fay begin to lash at south Florida.
A Monroe County official says roughly 25,000 tourists have evacuated.
Crowds may be a bit thinner, but many bars and restaurants are still doing business even though tourists in the Florida Keys have been urged to evacuate.
The owner of the Stuffed Pig restaurant in Marathon, Florida, says he's not taking the storm "lightly" and might "roll down the shutters" if conditions worsen.
At a Home Depot in town, an assistant manager says it seems like a normal Monday.
He says everyone seems to be acting like this is a "non-event."
Still many have left the island chain.
Heavy traffic has been reported in the upper Keys. Key West's airport closed this morning.
Forecasters expect Fay to near hurricane strength when it reaches the Keys later today.
The storm has left as many as 35 dead in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.