St. George Island, Florida- August 27, 2012
Mandatory evacuations are in place for many areas across the Gulf Coast.
A mandatory evacuation was ordered for St. George Island, Dog Island, St. Theresa, and low lying areas of the shore. I'm standing at the Blue Parrot, where the owner here said he's sticking it out and open for business.
"We worry about the restaurant. So, some of the key people, we stay just to make sure everything's ok."
The open sign outside the Blue Parrot is flashing. George Joanis says he's been here for seven years and as long as there is power, its business as usual.
"Sure it'd be easy for us to close and go run and hide. But, as you can see, it's not that bad. And you can come and have a burger or fresh grouper sandwich, and watch the weather at the same time."
Throughout the day, winds picked up and rain bands passed through, but the beach stayed fairly quiet.
Said David Volk, the St. George Island Beach Manager: "Everybody pulled off everything from the wave runners, and we pulled all the chairs and umbrella from the Saint George Island Beach Service....and now we're just gonna waiting pattern."
Most of the homes are empty. Locals say the high point of vacation season ended two weeks ago.With the beach cleared in anticipation of Isaac, some people say it's time to play.
Said one visitor: "This is what we do.....we wait all year for the hurricanes to come so we can go surfing out here cause there's not much out here."
The Blue Parrot said that they did have some customers today. We did just learn that the bridge has been closed to incoming traffic unless you're a resident of the island.