Gulf County Declares Local State of Emergency to Prep for Karen - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Gulf County Declares Local State of Emergency to Prep for Karen

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In Gulf County they are no strangers to storms. That's why county officials prefer to start early when it comes to storm preparations.

"Well we've been watching the storm for several days and actually started our preparations yesterday," said Marshall Nelson, Emergency Management Director for Gulf County.

Gulf County has already brought out the sand bags for Karen and in a meeting Thursday afternoon declared a local state of emergency.

"Basically a lot of our stuff is already in place," said Nelson. "But there's just some of that last minute food and fuel that we will be buying."

And preparation rituals are going beyond just the people.

"I've been through quite a few hurricanes and those fish know," said Captain Charlene Burke of "About Fun" Charters. "I mean they will gorge themselves."

Those that find themselves on the water are, for now, enjoying the calm before the storm.

"I mean it's not a bad day," said Burke. "We've got good east winds so we can stay in shore pretty close and we've been catching fish all day."

Indian Pass sees it's share of flooding even during rain events. The Indian Pass Raw Bar is a diamond in the rough for unsuspecting tourists.

"Well we will get out of here early enough," said Glen Stevens, a visitor from Georgia for Thunderbeach. Stevens and his friends made their way to Gulf County Thursday afternoon for lunch.

"I mean we could ride in the rain," said Stevens. "But, I don't prefer to."

Nelson says the Cape San Blas stump hole will help with flooding on the peninsula, but they anticipate evacuations if needed.

"Pretty much over the past two days we've become very concerned about it," said Nelson. "So there are certain things we need to do if anybody needs to be evacuated, especially on the peninsula."

With the stump hole nearly finished and emergency supplies already on hand Gulf County is hunkering down for whenever and wherever Karen decides to make landfall.

Again a hurricane watch has been lifted for Gulf County, but a tropical storm watch is still in effect.

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