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Local Traffic Being Allowed Through Stumphole

Published on September 12, 2008 by Sherri Dodsworth under Beach Renourishment, Cape San Blas, FEMA, Indian Pass, Port St. Joe

7:00 p.m. UPDATE – We have a fluid situation here, absolutely no pun intended. I just had a call from Paula Pickett, Executive Director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council, who drove out to the Cape within the hour, and was told the road is such that if it’s passable (which it is right now), they’ll let you out here. So unless things change, if you have plans to come this weekend, owner or visitor, it seems as if you should be able to come on out.

4:00 p.m. UPDATE – Just spoke with Gulf County Emergency Management and they are now saying that as of this afternoon ONLY owners and emergency vehicles will be allowed through, and that guests scheduled to arrive tonight should contact their rental companies to make refund arrangements. The woman I spoke with said owners must provide some proof of ownership such as an electric bill.

2:00 p.m. UPDATE – VMS is the company in charge of repair efforts at Stumphole and word I’m getting this afternoon is they are being very strict about traffic access and determining who drives through. Drivers are apparently being told to take very seriously that if they are allowed access to the Cape, they may not be allowed to leave again for some time.

If you are coming down for the weekend, have with you either some sort of proof of ownership or a printed reservation showing where you are staying to reduce the chances of problems. Also, bring what you need with you as you may or may not be able to get back into town Saturday or Sunday to pick up groceries. Scallop Cove is open for business for sundries and such (i.e. bread, beer, wine and ice), but you may want to consider filling up on gas before coming out. Jill (the owner) said her gas supply overall is ok so far, getting a bit low on premium, but with today’s $1.00+ per gallon price spike, she told me she’s been quoted between $4.50 and $5.50 a gallon so she’s going to hold off on ordering more.

10:50 a.m. I just got back from Stumphole and they’ve cleared one lane . . . sorta . . . for emergency vehicles and local traffic to trickle through under escort of equipment to clear the way. The tide is going back out – a bit – but there are still a lot of waves breaking over the wall. Conditions should hopefully improve during the day, but as for me – personally I don’t need to be anywhere badly enough this morning to want to drive through this saltwater gauntlet.

Here is the latest update from Emergency Management:

Gulf County remains under a High Surf Advisory. These conditions will continue to lead to hazardous rip currents as well as dangerously high surf along Gulf County’s beaches. These conditions will be life threatening to anyone entering the watering including experienced surfers.

Indian Pass Road (CR 30B) has been opened to all traffic and the Cape San Blas Road (SR 30E) remains closed except to emergency vehicles and local traffic only. Conditions in this area remain extremely dangerous, therefore only those residents that must travel through the area will be allowed in. Coastal residents and visitors are encouraged to continue to monitor coastal conditions throughout the day.

3 Comments on 'Local Traffic Being Allowed Through Stumphole':

Meg on 09/14/08:

You're right - I remember about that one hold-out homeowner. But if he had no qualms about holding out for so long he probably doesn't feel a bit responsible for the damage caused by the incomplete beach renourishment. He should have alot on his conscience but I have my doubts. Thanks so much for checking into why the work started north instead of south. I would really love to understand that decision.

sdodsworth on 09/13/08:

I need to look into why the decision was made to start north and work south - I heard once long ago but forget what the reasoning was. I'll get back to you on that one. What's truly sad is if it hadn't been for the lawsuit brought by one property owner which held up the program for nearly eight months, beach renourishment would have been completed in front of those homes on the southern portion. That individual has a lot to bear on his consceince and I hope it causes him sleepless nights. Cape San Blas Road is a state road so Tallahassee has the final say over what maintenance is done on it.

Meg on 09/13/08:

It must be a great relief to those owners who were able to survive the storm undamaged thanks to the beach renourishment project. Had that not happened, Cape Shoals, for one that I can think of, would probably not have survived the effects of Ike. We were there in July and were absolutely amazed at the “new” beach and could hardly wait to see it completed. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate. Homes toward the stumphole are not as lucky since they did not have the benefit of the beach restoration project. Sunrise Sunset will be lucky to survive. If it doesn’t fall onto the beach & into the Gulf that will be amazing. It is truly a shame that the project didn’t start south and work its way north; the northern area always did have the widest beach to start with, the southern end was in dire need of this project. It is also a shame that the county continues to spend money time & time again to replace boulders at the stumphole and repair the road instead of investing in a bridge in this area. Hopefully Ike will be the last storm of this season; but that hope is slim indeed. Even if it is, the damage has been done. Those with the new beach must be out celebrating for sure - the owners at the southern end have to hope their insurance helps out.

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