Apalachicola business owners protect homes and shops during storm

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sandbags, plywood, and a lack of movement on the streets of Downtown Apalachicola were just a few of the sights and sounds that came with Hurricane Irma.

"We've been through this before. Apalachicola has seen a lot of storms," Apalachicola Local Travis Wade said.

Many people evacuated, very few remained, but almost all were prepared.

"My husband and I have chosen to stay but we have been watching," Apalachicola Business Owner Jan Thomas said.

"Anything that could be blown around and do damage to buildings has already been put away and tied down," Wade said.

While many local business owners boarded up their shops with plywood and sandbags, other business owners say the storm benefits their company.

"I'm the owner of the Apalachicola Sponge Company," Jerry Garlic said. "This will actually benefit the Gulf. It cleans it up in a sort of a way. It mixes things around and it'll actually be a healthier environment for the sponges. Here's another purpose for it: just to clean that lens up a little bit and take some of the condensation from it."

After a little clean up around town, Apalachicola is expected to look good as new.

"Apalachicola is alive and well," Garlic said.

Apalachicola residents aren't alone in the recovery process. Franklin County's Sheriff says he and his deputies are already working on cleaning up the roadways.