Okaloosa County Gets Damage Recap After Storm

Residents of Okaloosa County were jolted awake early this morning as a powerful storm system unleashed its fury across the region. With winds reaching speeds of up to 70 mph and lightning illuminating the sky, the community found itself grappling with the aftermath of nature's wrath.

In Brief:

    • Okaloosa County hit by severe storm with 70 mph winds and intense lightning.
    • National Weather Service assessing damage for possible tornado.
    • Residents urged to report damage; Hurricane Preparedness Expo scheduled for tomorrow.

Okaloosa County, FL – Residents of Okaloosa County woke up to the aftermath of a severe storm that swept through the region early this morning. The National Weather Service in Mobile has been on the ground, assessing the damage to determine if a tornado touched down during the turbulent weather.

The storm system, which started impacting the area around 3:30 a.m., brought with it a barrage of severe weather warnings. A complex Meso Convective System (MCS Bow-Echo/Derecho) rolled in from neighboring Santa Rosa County, unleashing 70 mph straight-line winds and intense lightning strikes.

Okaloosa County Emergency Management closely monitored radar activity, detecting rotation as the storm moved southeastward through Baker, crossing major roads like State Road 189 near Dairy Road and Holloway Road. The system continued its path, causing havoc in Crestview before finally venturing into Walton County. In addition to the main storm track, smaller rotation couplets were observed in Holt near Griffith Mill Rd and even out in the Gulf of Mexico. The combined impact of these weather phenomena resulted in significant damage to homes and structures, with reports pouring in of fallen limbs, trees, debris being lofted, and the sheer force of the wind wreaking havoc.

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Citizens affected by the storm are urged to report damage via the provided link, as this information could potentially lead to state assistance. Additionally, aerial footage of the damage in Baker, Florida, has been made available for public viewing.

As the county assesses the aftermath, attention also turns to preparedness for future events. Tomorrow, May 11, marks the County’s Hurricane Preparedness Expo, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Okaloosa County Administration Building in Shalimar. This event aims to equip residents with essential information and resources to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

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