Franklin County and Gulf County Prepare for TS Debby

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ST. GEORGE ISLAND, FL- Tropical Storm Debby forced Franklin County emergency officials to issue a mandatory evacuation for St. George Island, and Alligator Point Sunday night. Monday they're letting residents back on the island to gather belongings but urge them the see shelter elsewhere tonight.

Residents and tourists visiting Franklin County had to grab what they could and leave quickly Sunday. Monday some of them were heading back to the island to get what they could, before leaving again.

Franklin County emergency officials evacuated everyone off of St. George Island as Tropical Storm Debby threatened the area Sunday.

Georgia resident Tim Linn said, "All of sudden they called us and said you gotta leave and we just left everything. The boat, all the food, and everything.

Monday's changing forecast for Debby gave residents a window to return for some of their things.

Franklin County E.O.C. Public Information Officer Tom Durham said, "We're letting them go back on the island, check their property and get whatever belongings that they need, but we're also reminding them that we are still under a mandatory evacuation we would encourage you to leave."

"Luckily today we called and the emergency management gave us some good information," added Linn, "They couldn't guarantee us so we took a chance and we stayed in Tallahassee last night....Half the people in the motel were from St. George so we'll just go home and come back in a couple weeks."

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office has implemented an 8 p.m. Monday curfew for St. George Island, which is without power. The rest of Franklin County is on alert. The bridge to St. George Island is closed.

Gulf County officials issued a local state of emergency.

County Commissioner Bill Williams said, "We're watching the storm surge with the 1 and a half to two foot potential with the high tide. Looking at that 15 inch rain that we're all hearing. Those are our biggest concerns. As long as we're not getting the flash flooding, the saturated type rain is much better for us to handle through time."

Erosion on Cape San Blas road is one of county's biggest concerns.

"Historically that is an absolute very vulnerable area for us. We've worked with the department of transportation very handily. We've actually positioned a lot larger rocks there that protects and buffers that area," added Williams.

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