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County lifts all evacuation orders

As of 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, the county emergency management office has rescinded all evacuation orders, both mandatory and voluntary.

Due to a combination of Hurricane Idalia and the rising tide, Bayfront Drive in Alligator Point and Patton Street on St. George Island are under water. Please use extreme caution when in this area.

Because there are roads over on Alligator Point covered with water or have washed out, motorists are reminded to not drive through standing water or over downed power lines.

Hurricane Idalia made landfall at Keaton Beach at about 7.45 a.m., some 100 miles to the east of Carrabelle. 

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those who have been and will be affected by Hurricane Idalia,” said Carrabelle Mayor Brenda La Paz.

“A sincere thank you goes out to the entire staff at Franklin County Florida Emergency Management for keeping all of us routinely posted on the storm movements and storm preparedness recommendations,” she wrote.

“A great big thank you goes out to the citizens, residents, and property owners of Carrabelle and the greater Carrabelle community.  Everyone followed the warnings and recommendations, picked up loose items in their yards, secured their homes, vehicles, boats, businesses, etc., and hunkered down in their homes well by 9 p.m. Tuesday night,” wrote La Paz. “The Carrabelle community, streets, and Hwy 98 through town last night were quieter than Christmas Eve.”

EOC had issued countywide voluntary evacuation

Due to the shifting of the track, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday , the emergency operations center issued a voluntary evacuation of all of Franklin County.

The mandatory evacuation of of all barrier islands, low-lying areas, mobile homes, and RV parks remained in effect. All evacuations applied to residents and non-residents alike.
Those who are electricity dependent for medical equipment or who feel unsafe were asked to not shelter at home, and to leave until the storm has passed and then return.

Please keep in mind when making plans to evacuate or to shelter in place, when the winds hit a sustained 45 mph bridges were to close until it was deemed safe to travel. St. George Island and Alligator Point have only one access route in and out. If this route is compromised or closed, EMS or first responders are not able to assist.

The county provided transportation via bus to the Leon County Shelter with pickup in Apalachicola at the ABC School at noon; in Eastpoint at Emerald Coast Bank next to Taylors; at the Carrabelle Library and in Lanark Village at Chillas Hall.

Due to the speed of this storm the EOC only had time to run this bus once.

County government offices closed at noon Tuesday and all day Wednesday, and will reopen Thursday morning.

Franklin County Emergency Management upgraded its voluntary evacuation of of all barrier islands, low-lying areas, mobile homes, and RV parks in the county to a mandatory evacuation, effective at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29.

The EOC said the upgrade was due to a shift westward in the track of the Hurricane Idalia.

Franklin County Schools to reopen Thursday

Due to the anticipated inclement weather associated with Idalia, the Franklin County Schools and district offices were closed for all students and staff on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 29 and 30, and will reopen Thursday, Aug. 31.

“Based on the most recent track of Idalia, there is the possibility of tropical storm winds and storm surge in the area as early as Tuesday morning or early afternoon,” Superintendent Stave Lanier, said in a press release Monday afternoon. “Our policy is if there are sustained winds of 35 miles per hour buses will not be running. 

“As always, the safety and welfare of our students and staff remain our top priority.  Please be safe during this time,” he said.    

In addition, the Franklin County satellite office of CareerSource Gulf Coast, located in Apalachicola, will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30, due to the projected path of Tropical Storm Idalia. Normal business hours are expected to resume on Thursday, August 31.

All other CareerSource Gulf Coast locations are unaffected. Please contact CareerSource Gulf Coast by phone at (850) 872-4340 for service during this time.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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