Apologies on the late update!
A response team, made up of four firefighters from Niceville FD, as well as a fire truck from the city, have made their way to Lake City, Florida. They are a part of a larger contingent of Fire Department’s from the northwest Florida area, including North Bay Fire Control District which have sent firefighters to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Here is the latest on Northwest Florida’s response to Hurricane Ian.
Hurlburt Field’s leadership team has posted an all-clear update on their social media.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has sent a large shipment of everything 1st responders need – from fix-a-flat to plastic spoons.
Okaloosa County’s EMS Division sent 40 Type D and 15 Type M oxygen cylinders.
Good news for the Niceville and Valparaiso area, it looks like we are out of the 🌴🌴🌴, when it comes to Hurricane Ian’s direct reach. That isn’t a guarantee, but it looks like the storm will hit the southwest Florida Coast and then careen into the Big Bend area of Florida before moving north into Georgia, according to the National Weather Service station in Mobile.
Still, some preparations are being made for the effects this area will see from the storm. Okaloosa County reports that we could see winds sustained at 20-30 miles per hour starting Tuesday night and into Wednesday.
To that end, earlier Tuesday, the 33rd Fighter Wing from Eglin Air Force Base evacuated their 25 F-35 fighter jets from Northwest Florida to Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana. “Leadership directed the repositioning of aircraft to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, to prepare for possible damaging winds caused by Hurricane Ian.
Thanks to Ian, rip currents will also be an issue in the northwest Florida area. Okaloosa County Emergency Management says that we can also expect a surf increase of between three and four feet tonight.
In addition, the red flag warning for fire danger continues for most of the western Florida Panhandle through tomorrow.
Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools, Marcus Chambers addressed the school board concerning Hurricane Ian. His discussion with them made it sound like the superintendent is relatively confident school time won’t be missed this week due to the storm.
“As you know there is a hurricane out there [in the gulf] which is fast approaching Florida. I want you to know that we are in communication with Patrick Maddox from the county, as well as Eglin. And one of the things that we have added to our process this year is that whether it be hurricanes or strong storms that would come – we will also consult with Eglin as well as an added measure,” Chambers continued, “As of [Monday evening], it does not look like we will have strong impacts from the storm. Currently, we still have every intention of attending school throughout the week. If anything were to change, we would get that communication out.”
Governor Suspends Mid-Bay Bridge Tolls Ahead of Ian, Activates Emergency Operations Center
Florida’s governor has made several moves to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Ian. In addition to suspending the tolls on bridges throughout the state, including the Mid-Bay Bridge and Spence Parkway, in Niceville.
In Okaloosa County, the Okaloosa County Emergency Management team has continued to update the public about the situation as it relates to the county.
Monday afternoon, the Board of County Commissioners’ facebook account showed conditions to be about normal at local beaches on Okaloosa Island for the time being.
As of Monday afternoon, Okaloosa County Schools will be open every day this week.
Eglin Air Force Base has moved to HURCON 5, which means the base expects a possibility that surface winds in excess of 58 miles per hour could hit the base within the next 96 hours. Hurlburt Field has also moved to HURCON 5. Neither base have indicated that any operations will be directly affected or issued any evacuation orders.