The wind has reached a constant 50 mph on Goodland, just southeast of Marco Island, Marco Fire Rescue Chief Mike Murphy said.
Patrolling the deserted streets, he encountered blinding, Wilma-induced rain that reduced visibility to as little as 20 feet. An American flag at Calusa Bay Marina already has been ripped in half from the winds.
So far, there is no flooding, Murphy added. But lots and lots of rain. Small tree limbs and other small debris littered the roads.
A tornado (or is it a waterspout) was reported about 10 miles south of Goodland just before 2 a.m. and was said to be heading toward Marco. After a few tense moments, the twister headed out to sea.
While Marco's streets were quiet, authorities heard media reports of a swimmer in the Gulf of Mexico at the south end of Resident's Beach. Around the EOC, people greeted the news with a collective shaking of the head.
As for storm surge, Murphy said, the prediction is it will rise from 7 to 9 feet in the Marco area. South of here, the sea and waves could form a dome 16 feet above normal tide.
The surf is getting rough and choppy in the Caxambas Pass area, Murphy added.
Murphy tells me he won't let me drown.
"We have ladders," he said.