When a storm rolls through the Panhandle, residents may seek shelter if they’re told to evacuate.
However, Franklin County is one of the few areas without shelters. Emergency officials want residents to keep that in mind during this storm season.
“We’re flat, and we’re a coastal county. So when that water comes in, it comes over us,” said Franklin County Emergency Management Director, Pamela Brownell.
Brownell says this happens because water from the barrier islands flood major roadways, and cuts-off access to bridges.
“You’ve got a bridge, going to the East, and if you head West towards Gulf County – If you don’t get over it before the waves come up, you’re locked in,” said Brownell.
In addition to Franklin County being along the coast, shelters cannot be built in the inland areas of the County.
“We’re 70 percent forest. We have nowhere to build except on the coast,” said Brownell.
Brownell said the forestry is owned by the state and federal government. That’s why officials urge residents to evacuate.
“This year we had some people that I know were in Wakulla. We had some that went to Calhoun, and we had some that went to Tolar in Liberty County. So our surrounding counties that have shelters have always been gracious to accept our residents,” said Brownell.
Leon County also accepts special needs evacuees.
Residents can sign up for ‘Alert Franklin’ by visiting http://www.franklinemergencymanagement.com/