EASTPOINT, Fla. (WMBB) – In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Hurricane Idalia made its way to Franklin County. Wind gusts and torrential downpours marked the beginning of the storm’s arrival.
At its height, the sustained winds in Eastpoint were nearly 60 miles per hour with torrential downpours, but conditions quickly changed as the eye passed just east of Franklin County. By the time Hurricane Idalia made landfall around 8 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, the western side of Franklin County was beginning to clear.
“Just have a few roads that are underwater, maybe a little bit of damage,” Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said. “Besides that, we’re in really good shape.”
By 9 a.m., blue skies were back. Residents who evacuated St. George Island began returning home.
“We didn’t have a lot of damage,” Smith said. “We haven’t had any major accidents on the road because people stayed home, they evacuated early.”
Despite mandatory evacuation orders, some decided to ride out the storm at home. That convinced at least one local grocery store owner to stay behind to support her community.
“This is an intimate community, and our local lives depend on us,” Big Top Supermarket Owner Abbie Shiber said. “If we’re not here, they don’t have anything.”
Shiber said after Hurricane Michael, she fed the community out of her store for two weeks. After that, she gained a reputation for staying open during storms.
Eastpoint and St. George Island suffered very minimal property damage. There are no injuries or deaths reported.