GULF COUNTY — With power slowing coming back online and roadways cleared, Gulf County residents and businesses are finding their new normal.
The alcohol sales ban in place since Monday may be lifted Saturday, according to acting Gulf County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Corey Dobridnia. But many businesses, including the popular Lookout Lounge, have been destroyed.
She said Sunset Coastal Grill and Burger King, as well as a number of gas stations, were destroyed.
"Carpet Country is completely annihilated," she said. "He's been there for decades."
Emerald Coast Federal Credit Union opened for four hours midday Thursday.
"When things start opening, that's a good sign," Dobridnia said.
All the roads are open and folks can come back to what's left of their homes. Neighbors are helping neighbors, she said.
And while she's seen Waste Management trucks out and about, debris is piled along roadways.
"It is piled high, but the good thing is that it’s getting cleaned up," she said. "It has come a long way in just a few days. People are pretty much gutting their homes."
She said that power has mostly been restored in Port St. Joe, but Wewahitchka remains without electricity. Fuel is available at a fueling station at the health department in Port St. Joe but in restricted quantities.
Over in St. Joe Beach and Beacon Hill, progress is slower.
"I know there used to be a house there," Dobridnia said, driving through Beacon Hill early Friday afternoon. "Some of the houses that were on the beach side are across Highway 98. It is different world."