Panhandle Breathes a Sigh of Relief

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Jittery north Florida residents are breathing a sigh of relief after Alberto produced steady rain but little else.

Many of the 20,000-plus coastal ordered to evacuate returned home before noon Tuesday.

Hugh Davis, a Shell Point resident, is one of those.

“You never know with the tides. We’re on the water, so gotta, gotta get ‘em out.”

Boats and trailers remained parked on high ground. At mid morning state responders were out surveying a wet but otherwise unscathed panhandle. In St Marks, which saw a 10 foot surge last July, there were just a few puddles on the street.

Nancy Green, a St. Marks restaurant operator, says it’s all part of preparation.

“Was it a false alarm? I mean, if there’s a storm next week, will you prepare just as much?”

“Yeah. Yeah, we’ll be ready.”

“Learned your lesson?”

“Yeah. I think Dennis scared us enough that we’ll learn this time.”

We found Ivan Wagoner behind the wheel of his tree trimming truck at a fast foot restaurant. He was under contract with an electric company, but had time for lunch.

Ivan Wagoner, who is a Tree Trimmer, said it’s no big deal.

“You have to do anything?”

“Yeah, we’ve had a couple of little calls. nothing major or nothing like that.”

Residents are breathing a sigh of relief and at the same time holding their breath for the next storm.