A winter weather briefing was held at the Emergency Operations Center in Port St. Joe to discuss the wintery mix that had its sights set on southern Alabama, Georgia and North Florida.
Gulf County schools will be closed on Wednesday and tentatively open on Thursday.
The county is expected to be dealing with rain, sleet or snow on Thursday morning, though the freezing line had cut the county in half with Wewahitchka expected to take the brunt of the weather.
“We’re split,” said EOC director Marshall Nelson. “It’s going to be two different worlds.
“My main concern is the north end of the county.”
The EOC plugged in to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee along with emergency management crews of the surrounding counties.
Nelson’s said that he was concerned with traffic, especially people who commute from Wewahitchka to Port St. Joe and vice versa. He also feared a loss of power in the northern part of the county which is fed from Alabama Electric where the state was predicted to receive a possible two inches of snow.
Nelson said that with wind, rain and ice, area bridges also presented a hazard to commuters. He said that White City’s bridge would be under the care of the state, but Overstreet Bridge was under the county’s watch.
“It doesn’t take much ice to start skidding,” said Nelson.
Port St. Joe’s emergency notification system doesn’t cover Wewahitchka, and Nelson urged both sides of the county to stay in constant communication throughout Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Nelson also encouraged area physicians to see as many patients as possible on Tuesday in order to keep them off of the road.
“When dealing with public health, we have to err on the side of safety,” said Department of Health Administrator for Gulf and Franklin Counties Marsha Lindeman.
Health facilities were expected to be closed on Thursday morning.
Gulf County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Business, Duane McFarland, said he worried that if the schools shut down on Thursday, they’d have to make up the day at the end of the year.
“Every time we get into a situation like this, we’re on edge,” said Nelson.