With weak sunshine pushing through the clouds, some Navarre Beach guests and residents headed to the beach, while others filed insurance claims and dragged debris to dumpsters.
“At first I thought we were OK and half an hour later, the surge came in and I’m like, ‘When is it going to stop? How high is it going to go?’ ” recalled Jenn Schumacher, whose townhome on the Santa Rosa Sound escaped major damage.
At least one beachgoer was pulled from the surf, which was closed due to double red flag conditions, according to the police scanner.
Power had been restored to about half of the Santa Rosa County residents by midday, according to Gulf Power officials.
But a day and a half after Hurricane Sally came ashore, she was continuing to cause new problems for locals. Creeks and rivers rose, with officials calling for immediate evacuation of people along the Yellow River, which is expected to crest Saturday.
Water rescue teams were kept busy pulling people out of homes and cars that had become surrounded by water. Scott Markel, communications chief for Santa Rosa County Public Safety, said rescue crews responded to more than such 50 calls on Wednesday and that they continued to be in demand Thursday.
“There’s a board full of people we’re still rescuing,” he said early Thursday afternoon. “They’re not all waterfront homes. These are neighborhoods that are just overwhelmed.”
The Garcon Point Bridge, closed during much of the storm and its immediate aftermath, reopened partially on Thursday, as did U.S. Highway 98 near Hurlburt Field.
The Pensacola Bay Bridge, severely damaged during the storm, remained closed, forcing people to reconsider how to reach everything from work to doctor’s appointments.