This morning – the morning of our last full day here – we were placed on lockdown. It was a morning where I considered that I felt well enough to brave some crowds to buy souvenirs for folks back home. I got up, had a cup of coffee and showered, then noticed a missed call. It was the rental office calling to advise us that if we were out, we would not be allowed to return to the community where we are staying. And if we were in, we were advised to lock windows and doors and not venture out until we received another call telling us it was OK to go out. They said they would let us know what was going on when they called back. Really, we are fortunate. We were in our condo when this happened and have enough food for a couple of days. It’s the optimum situation under the circumstances.
A look at local news revealed that there was a manhunt centered on the beach where we are staying. Three young men had escaped a detention center in Louisiana and had headed down to Florida. They crashed a car on Hwy 98 and were spotted at Inlet Beach – the beach on the west side of our building – and two of the men were captured. The third man is still at large and they are searching both Inlet Beach and Carillon Beach – the beach on the east side of the resort. (The pictures in my previous post are from these beaches.)
All day we’ve seen searchers and patrols of both the streets and the beach. There have been dogs, boats and helicopters. At one point a helicopter was all but on the ground outside my window and officers were closely searching the vacant dunes (protected dunes with sea oats and scrubby growth) to the east.
It is almost 5 pm as I write this and I’m sure the man is still at large. No one has called to say we are free to go out. Sheriff’s officers are still walking around and Sheriff’s trucks are still patrolling the beach.
I already felt depressed about spending a perfectly good vacation virtually vegging because I’m not feeling well, but this enforced indoor stay has pushed me to teary spells. Tomorrow we leave for home and I’m ever so sad about it.