Franklin County Sheriff’s Office preps for Hurricane Ian
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Ian became a Category 2 storm Monday afternoon. While it’s not expected to reach Northwest Florida for a few more days, if at all, local first responders are stressing the importance of being prepared for anything.
It doesn’t take much for The Forgotten Coast to go from clear skies and sunshine to heavy rainfall and flooding. As the hurricane heads towards Florida, low-lying areas like Franklin County face severe flooding threats. That’s why Sheriff AJ Smith is making sure every box is checked before the storm.
“Make sure there’s plenty of food in the jail. We even have an evacuation plan for inmates should it get worse,” Smith said. “Once the storm hits, if you’re not prepared, there really is nothing you can do. We basically prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
Smith is asking residents to double-check their hurricane kits.
“Well we certainly want to have water, certainly want to have some non-perishable food in case the power is out and flashlights stuff like that. A lot of people have generators, and it’s very important to understand you can’t run these generators inside. They have to be ventilated,” Smith said.
Deputies all have trucks and chainsaws in case strong winds blow down any trees. If those winds reach 40 mph, bridges will shut down.
“We pre-plan. We’re experienced. We want folks to know your community is safe and that we’re going to be here even if you have to evacuate,” Smith said.
As of Monday night, there are no mandatory evacuations. For now, officials are handing out sandbags to those in Apalachicola, Carrabelle and Eastpoint as a precaution.
Just west of Franklin, Gulf County issued a local State of Emergency Monday afternoon. Sheriff Mike Harrison said there are no mandatory evacuations at this time, but he is recommending evacuations for those who live in RVs over in the Indian Pass area because there is potential for flooding.
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