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Coastal communities prepare for storms

Posted at 3:11 AM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-15 03:11:17-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Phyllis Lewis owns Seaside Cotton just down the street from the Blue Parrot. She says she's learned a lot of lessons from storms past.

"Just securing any items that may be outdoors, stock up on water, food, canned items," said Lewis. "Just be prepared."

Co-owner of Blue Parrot George Joanos said during hurricane Michael their entire patio deck was underwater and besides pushing all chairs and tables further up into the restaurant, they aim to stay open during storms for those who need them.

"We feel that we're one of the few restaurants that during the evacuation period," said Joanos. "They still have the option to come and eat a meal before they have to leave."

When it comes to preparing for any storm, Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith said they treat them all like a cat 5 hurricane no matter the size.

"We've seen just about any kind of scenario you can think about-- so we don't take anything likely," said Sheriff Smith.

When conditions get rough along the coast, bridges will be closed to Apalachicola and St. George if winds are at a constant 40-45 miles-per-hour.

The sheriff's office is ready to enforce double red flags at the beach on St. George Island alerting people to stay out of the water.
A warning so serious, those who ignore it could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor along with paying a $500 fine.