A cool, clear day, marred by widespread storm damage, greeted the county Thursday morning.
"It's massive," said County Commission Chairman Smokey Parrish. "It'll be two weeks to a month before we get electricity. There's just so much destruction."
Parrish cautioned homeowners not to return if they could avoid it, but he acknowledged many would want to check on their homes, or friends and neighonros.
He said the Gorrie Bridge between Eastpoint and Apalachicola has been cleared for use, and that county road crews were busy clearing debris from the causeway.
"I think it's open, but there's no guarantees," he said. By early afternoon the birdges were open for residents,
He said if people choose to return they should take Highway 65 into the county.
"There's no electricity, no sewers, the roads are covered," he said. "We're working on it."
Apalachicola City Manager Ron Nalley said city residents are urged not to use the water because of a massive leak in the system. "Crews are on the scene and are making repairs," he said.
Howard Nabors, head of the county road department, said he and his staffers, those who stayed here, were out all morning clearing fallen trees and telephone lines off of US 98. He said that it is possible now to drive from Alligator Point to the Franklin-Gulf County line, but not on C-30. He said much of the roads are one lan.
Craig Gibson, in charge of maintenace at Weems Memorial Hospital, said the hospital remains closed, but that limited ambulance service has been resumed from Carrabelle Beach to Alligator Point. The ambulance has been taking patients who need it to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, as Bay Medical, Sacred Heart and Gulf Coast all remain closed.
Gibson said the roof peeled off at Weems over the lab area, and that a tree fell on the roof of the trailer that serves the ambulance service. he said ambulance servcie has not been reinstated in Apalachicola, or Eastpoint.
"I've never been through something like this, not in my lifetime," said Parrish.
Gibson said he is meeting Thursday afternoon with Weems CEO HD Cannington and County Coordinator Michael Moron to assess damage to Weems. He said it would reopen once state officials finish their inspections.