Wakulla County Escapes Alberto

Residents in low lying areas were among those ordered to evacuate along the Gulf Coast, but many who evacuated were back home by Tuesday night.

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

Hugh Davis, a Shell Point resident, said, "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.

Last July the water rose in a café. The owners lost everything in their freezers and
refrigerators, so this year they’re not taking any chances. Inside, a freezer sat on a table just in case.

Nancy Green, the restaurant operator, was asked “Was it a false alarm? I mean, if there’s a storm next week, will you prepare just as much?”

She said, “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 said, “We’ve had a couple of little calls. Nothing major or nothing like that.”

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