Gulf County Emergency Management and this newspaper are committed to getting the most up-to-date information to the citizens of Port Saint Joe, Apalachicola and the surrounding areas. Here are the most recent storm related notices, distribution sites, and aid information.

BOIL WATER REINSTATED:

City Manager Michael Hammond has reinstated a boil water notice for the City of Port St. Joe until further notice. The order comes as authorities investigate a potential water contamination incident upriver from the city. With reinstatement of the notice, all of Gulf County is now under a boil water notice. The Florida Department of Health offers the following tips to protect health and safety under a boil water notice:

WATER FOR DRINKING AND COOKING

Safe sources of drinking water include bottled, disinfected or both boiled and cooled water. Here are some general rules on using water for drinking and cooking:


Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food or make ice. Use only safe drinking water.

If you use bottled water, know where it came from. Drink only commercially available bottled, boiled or disinfected water until your supply is tested and deemed safe. Otherwise, water should be disinfected or both boiled and cooled before use. 

Boiling water kills harmful bacteria and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for 1 minute will kill infectious organisms (germs). 

Water can be disinfected by adding 8 drops of plain unscented household bleach (4 to 6-percent strength), which is about 1/8 teaspoon or a dime-sized puddle, per gallon of water. If a higher strength bleach is used (8.25-percent strength), only add 7 drops of bleach. Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once. Iodine or other disinfection tablets (available at many sporting goods departments and stores) may also be used.

Containers for water should be rinsed with a bleach solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water before reusing them. Use water storage tanks and other types of containers with caution. For example, fire truck storage tanks, as well as previously used cans or bottles, may be contaminated with microbes or chemicals. Do not rely on unverified methods for decontaminating water.

For further information, please contact your local county health department or visit www.floridahealth.gov or www.FloridaDisaster.org.

During severe weather and other emergencies, you can count on active alerts from the department's official social media accounts. One of the fastest ways to receive official and accurate health-related information is to monitor @HealthyFla on Twitter and on Facebook.

UTILITIES:

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative reports that power has been restored to power to 33% of Gulf County customers.

DISASTER RELIEF:

Blue Roof Right of Entry (ROE) Collection Centers will open in Port St. Joe on Sunday. The Florida Division of Emergency Management Blue Roof press release can be found here. Homeowners who wish to apply must complete a right-of-entry (ROE) form to allow the Corps and its contractors to access the property. The ROE form can be completed online at www.usace.army.mil/blueroof or in person at ROE collection centers which have been set up in the area. The Corps will be in Gulf County starting Sunday at First Baptist Church - Port St Joe 102 3rd Street, Port St Joe. The center will be open Sunday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. CDT and Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT.

ROADS:

Florida DOT has advised that repairs to Cape San Blas Road are complete and the roadway is safe to travel for all vehicles. The checkpoint at the Stump Hole has been removed and access north is open. A contingent of law enforcement personnel will remain patrolling the area.

SAFETY TIPS:

If you are working near fiber cables, please be aware that those lines are carrying traffic that supports first responders, cellular networks and life-saving communications.  If you need to work nearby one of these cables, please call 877-652-2321 for site coordination to ensure the communications are available for those impacted by the storm to connect with loved ones and the resources they need and so that first responders can conduct their mission critical work of search, rescue and recovery.

SHELTER:

The Red Cross shelter currently located at the Port St Joe Elementary School will be relocating to facilitate re-opening of local schools.  The shelter will be moving to St. James Episcopal Church, 800 22 nd Street Port St. Joe, at the corner of 22 nd street and Garrison Avenue.  The new shelter location will be open as of 10 a.m. EST on Sunday, 10/21/18.  The shelter will be serving cold breakfast, hot lunch and dinner daily for shelter residents as well as members of the community who are in need.

Additional services available are Disaster Mental Health Care, Spiritual Care and Health Services/Nursing Care.

TRANSPORTATION:

Gulf County Coordinated Transport will start taking appointments next week for anyone in Gulf County who needs transport to medical appointments. GCCT will open at 7:30 a.m. Monday (10/22/18) and maintain regular business hours 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F. (850) 229-6650.

DISTRIBUTION:

White City now has a distribution center located at the White City First Baptist Church located at 7210 Hwy 71, White City.

HOTLINE:

Citizen Information Line is still activated.  The number is 805-536-4432 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please read the most recent updates on the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page or the Gulf County Emergency Management Facebook page prior to calling. 

For additional information tune to 92.5 WPAP, Channel 7 WJHG, WOYS 100.5 FM or WMBB News 13.