Multiple agencies tag-team Hurricane Hermine clean up in Franklin County

Published: Sep. 3, 2016 at 5:23 PM CDT
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Although Hurricane Hermine has officially left the Panhandle, first responders, local law enforcement officers, and volunteers from all over are still continuing to clean up.

Locals and visitors say they were prepared for it.

"Once I heard about it I get busy, I'm digging you know the culvert here because it was all grass because I knew it would drain a little bit better," long-time St. George Island vacationer, Daniel Stadfeld, said.

First responders and law enforcement were prepared for it.

"Between the sheriff's office, emergency management office, and our EMS and our volunteer fire department we generally all train together," Captain Brad Segree, of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, said. "We do different table top exercises in preparations for something like this."

Thursday evening, Franklin County emergency services, first responders, and local law enforcement headed into Hurricane Hermine.

Officials shut down roads, put a curfew on Franklin County, and advised everyone to stay indoors and away from the water.

"As far as that gulf is concerned out there it will still be a hazard," Pamela Brownell, the director of Franklin County Emergency Services, said. "Not only for our county, but our surrounding counties."

Fast forward 24 hours and Hurricane Hermine was gone, but not before leaving an impression.

"I'm surprised that I can literally swim in my yard," Zachary Stadfeld, a visitor to St. George Island, said.

Dozens of Franklin County residents woke up in the dark.

To help fix that problem utility trucks from across the country were stationed at Franklin County Airport ready to help.

"We had the largest space for them to be able to stage at," said Brownell.

Nearly 15 hours after shutting down the St. George Island Bridge, Franklin County Sheriff's Officials opened it up to residents, and clean up crews, giving them a chance to assess the damage before extra crews were brought in.

"What was mostly shocking was seeing boats that were capsized and thrown up on the shore and all that," said Stadfeld.