Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Re-Entry Goes A-OK as Coast Gets Back to Life

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Re-Entry Goes A-OK as Coast Gets Back to Life

Article excerpt

Life began slowly returning to normal yesterday for Coastal Georgia residents who trickled home after fleeing during a mandatory evacuation triggered by Hurricane Floyd.

Because many consumers and employees were still en route home, only about a quarter of Glynn County's restaurants, banks, shops and other businesses were open.

Toni Townley opened Waterfront Cards and Gifts in the heart of the Village shopping/restaurant district on St. Simons Island at 10 a.m. as usual.

But not even a special "Hurricane Floyd sale" could entice customers who just weren't there to begin with, store manager Townley said.

"I haven't had a single sale all day. A few people have come in and looked around, but they haven't bought anything. But I'm glad that the hurricane didn't hit here."

Signs taped onto still-boarded storefront windows told customers that businesses would reopen today.

Most city, county, state and federal government offices also remained closed yesterday, but officials planned to resume operations at normal business hours today.

Unlike the evacuation that was slowed to a standstill at times by bottlenecks at the county lines, Glynn and McIntosh county residents encountered few, if any, traffic problems as they returned home Wednesday night and yesterday.

No major accidents or delays were reported, according to Georgia State Patrol and county police officers from Brunswick to Valdosta.

"We anticipated it would be worse coming in than when people evacuated, but it was better," said William Terrell, a spokesman with the Camden County Sheriff's Office. "I think it went as well as can be expected."

Brunswick and Glynn County police manned key intersections, including the F.J. Torras Causeway at U.S. 17 to St. Simons Island to keep the re-entry traffic flowing smoothly.

Most local businesses also began reopening yesterday as people returned to their homes. Supermarkets, hardware stores and department stores began restocking items depleted from the shelves such as non-perishable canned goods, batteries, paper products and pet food.

Deliveries began coming in yesterday at the Publix Supermarket in Kingsland after the store reopened, store manager Peter Muller said. …

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