Hurricane Sally Updates
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
🚨 Stay tuned to AlertOkaloosa.com for local conditions.
🚧 Click here for roads impacted by Sally.
⛑️ You can find all of our post-storm safety tips, here
❤️ For resources and assistance after the storm has passed click HERE
🌀 Click HERE for the latest on the 2020 Hurricane Season.
Hurricane Sally debris removal hotline 850.293.2854
October 13, 2020
10.13.20 Florida residents who applied for assistance from FEMA after sustaining damage from Hurricane Sally will receive a letter from FEMA in the mail or via email. The letter will explain your application status and how to respond. It is important to read the letter carefully because it will include the amount of any assistance FEMA may provide and information on the appropriate use of disaster assistance funds. Applicants may need to submit additional information for FEMA to continue to process an application. Examples of missing documentation may include:
• Proof of insurance coverage • Settlement of insurance claims • Proof of identity • Proof of occupancy • Proof of ownership • Proof that the damaged property was the applicant’s primary residence at the time of the disaster
If you have questions about your letter go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Download full release:
October 8, 2020
10.08.20 ⚠️ The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the opening of a second Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Fort Walton Beach on Oct. 13, to help businesses impacted by Hurricane Sally. SBA representatives at the BRC can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application.
📍 Okaloosa County Business Recovery Center
Bridgeway Center, Building C
205 Shell Ave.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Opens: Tuesday, Oct. 13
Hours: Sunday-Saturday (7 days a week)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST)
The SBA Business Recovery Center in Escambia County will be closed on Monday, Oct. 12 in observance of Columbus Day, and will resume its regular operations on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Full release available at the link below.
October 5, 2020 (Updated 10.19.20)
10.5.20 FEMA has opened a mobile registration center for Hurricane Sally survivors in Okaloosa County *Updated from Lovejoy location*10.19.20 to the following:
Northwest Florida Fairgrounds
1958 Lewis Turner Blvd Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
It is not necessary to visit a center to register with FEMA. Disaster survivors with uninsured losses can also apply by:
Downloading the FEMA App; or by
Calling 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).
Additional info and assistance after the storm has passed can be found HERE
October 2, 2020
10.2.20 FEMA has approved the State of Florida’s request for Individual Assistance in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.
With this announcement, families impacted by Hurricane Sally now have access to critical FEMA programs, including housing assistance, crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance, disaster legal services and case management. To apply, click HERE.*
Call the FEMA Helpline, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET, 7 days a week: 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY 1-800-462-7585
* FEMA APPLICTION TIPS - Before you start your FEMA application, please have the information below and a pen and paper ready.
Social Security Number - You, another adult member or minor child in your household must have a Social Security number. You or they must also be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien. If you don't have a Social Security number, read the article How do I apply for a new or replacement Social Security number card. You will get instructions on what to do and what documents you will need. Once you have your number, you may come back to DisasterAssistance.gov or call FEMA at one of the phone numbers above to apply.
Insurance Information - Describe the type(s) of insurance coverage you have. This could include coverage under policies like homeowners, flood, automobile, or mobile home insurance.
Damage Information - Describe the damage caused by the disaster. Include the type of disaster (like flood, hurricane, or earthquake) and the type of dwelling or vehicle (like a condo, mobile home or house, or a car or truck).
Financial Information - Provide your total annual household income, before taxes, at the time of the disaster.
Contact Information - Provide the address and phone number of the property where the damage occurred and the address and phone number of where we can reach you now.
Direct Deposit Information (optional) - If approved, we can deposit your funds directly into your bank account. You just need to provide the following banking information: Bank name | Type of account (like checking or savings) | Routing number | Account number
September 28-30, 2020
Updated 9.30.20 CrowderGulf, the storm-debris removal contractor for unincorporated Okaloosa County, began last week in the north end of the county. They are working their way south and expect the process, based on current progress and demand, to continue for the next two weeks. Waste Management will continue picking up weekly containerized yard waste as CrowderGulf moves through the storm debris removal. We have set up a storm debris removal hotline for questions, comments and concerns at 850.293.2854.
Download the full release here. 👇
9.28.20 Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering disaster assistance to small businesses and most nonprofits in our area, who were affected by Hurricane Sally.
After the Presidential disaster declaration for several counties in Alabama, adjacent counties in Florida also became eligible for assistance, including Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa. The SBA is strongly committed to getting businesses and communities up and running again and so a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center/Business Recovery Center has been established. Find out more HERE.
Register and start an application for Disaster Loan Assistance online HERE.
Additional Resources, including the SBA News Release, Fact Sheet and Flyer are linked below:
September 25, 2020
9.25.20 We've just updated our Hurricane Sally Assistance Page found HERE with a new resource and data on just how much damage has been reported across Northwest Florida from Hurricane Sally.
Damage Assessment Map --> http://bit.ly/2S0mmCUSallyDisasterMap
A direct download of details on how to apply for immediate assistance from the American Red Cross can be found in the document attached.
9.25.20 The survey for storm-related damages is still live. We encourage everyone in Okaloosa who sustained damage from Hurricane Sally, whether it's structure damage, damage to roofs, trees, fences, etc. - to please fill out this quick survey and upload photos. It's quick and easy on a mobile device. This data will help speed the process of acquiring State and Federal aid for the citizens of Okaloosa County. Report damage here: http://bit.ly/3cAa8ubSallyDamageSurvey
September 24, 2020
Hurricane season 🌀 doesn't end until December 1! It's important to remain vigilant and stay prepared ahead of the next weather-maker! ⛈️
Click HERE for links to THE MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCES every Okaloosan can use to stay prepared before, during and after the storm.
September 23, 2020
9.23.20 Have a special need now that the storm clouds have rolled out, high tides are drying out and the rivers are receding? Visit:
to find out more about helpful resources available, including Crisis Cleanup, Red Cross Assistance, Catholic Charities Outreach and the Panhandle Helpline.
September 22, 2020
9.22.20 - Chief Mike Schwartz gives us a rundown of what to expect at the Okaloosa County Points of Distribution (PODs) for disaster supplies.
9.22.20 As we transition into Recovery from Hurricane Sally, we continue to monitor the active tropics and provide support to those in need of supplies.
🌀 Here's the latest on Tropical Storm Beta: Tropical Storm Beta is now at the Texas Coast (Matagorda Peninsula) and is moving inland. The storm is expected to recurve Northeast and move through central Louisiana, then central-Northern Mississippi. It will drag with it a plume of tropical moisture which may impact our area with 1-2” of rain through Friday.
🆘 That being said, we know there are homes with damage from hurricane sally and members of our community are in need of supplies, perhaps tarps to prevent further damage. Maybe flood clean-up kits and/or just in need of bottled water. The following Points of Distribution (PODS) are open 10am to 4pm today, 9.22.20 and tomorrow.
⚠️ Residents South of the Eglin AFB Reservation may go to the Fort Walton Beach Fairgrounds near the Farmers Market facility at 1958 Lewis Turner BLVD in Fort Walton Beach.
⚠️ Residents North of the Eglin AFB Reservation may go to the Old Spanish Trail Park on Stillwell BLVD in Crestview.
🌀 Last but not least - The yellow “X” on the included graphic, is a tropical low with low development potential and very little info available on movement. We will continue to monitor.
9.22.20 - Hurricane Sally Heroes
September 21, 2020
HURRICANE SALLY DEBRIS COLLECTION - If you're in the Okaloosa County franchise area for household waste, there will be a scheduled storm debris pickup starting Wednesday, September 23. The graphic provides guidance on the process. Please be sure that the debris and yard waste is placed on the curb before Wednesday so that it can be removed.
County residents outside the franchise area should contact their trash service provider for information. More on Okaloosa County Trash Pickup at myokaloosa.com/pw/environmental/solid-waste
September 19-20, 2020
9.19.20 - Opening of Points of Distribution of Relief Supplies
Niceville – Okaloosa County will begin the distribution of relief supplies beginning at Sunday at the following sites: Residents South of the Eglin AFB Reservation may go to the Fort Walton Beach Fairgrounds near the Farmers Market facility at 1958 Lewis Turner BLVD in Fort Walton Beach beginning at 10 am to pick up Blue Roofs/Tarps to assist with damage mitigation of any roof damage. Additionally, beginning on Monday, Flood Clean Up Kits and bottled water will be available. Residents North of the Eglin AFB Reservation may go to the Old Spanish Trail Park on Stillwell BLVD in Crestview beginning at 10 am to pick up Blue Roofs/Tarps to assist with damage mitigation of any roof damage. Additionally, beginning on Monday, Flood Clean Up Kits and bottled water will be available. Please be aware that distribution will be until all resources are given out for the day and that resources are arriving as quickly are they can be delivered to us from the State and other sources. This may cause disruptions in distributing resources while supplies last for each shipment. Additional information will be released as it becomes available throughout the Weekend and a Citizens Information Line will begin operations on Monday morning to provide recovery information and information from agencies across the County able to assist residents with unmet needs.
9.19.20 - It has taken a village - Okaloosa County Emergency Operations Command Center Has Many Heroes to Honor. Here Are A Few.
September 18, 2020
🚧 Friday, September 18 - Road Closure Update* - We're keeping an updated list of road closures, damage and/or obstructions. 🖱
Click here for details ▶️ https://bit.ly/3iEwME8RoadClosures for the latest file of affected roadways. We will update this list regularly. 🖱 Click here for a map of affected roadways ▶️ http://arcg.is/afCX4 🚨 Remember to sign up for local alerts at http://bit.ly/3ksJhmtAlerts ⚠️ IF YOU MUST TRAVEL AND SEE STANDING WATER ON A ROAD, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN. 🖱 Sally Updates blog: https://bit.ly/3iHa1zcSallyUpdates *️⃣ Shoal, Yellow, and Blackwater Rivers are an ever-changing situation because of Sally's rainwater runoff from north to south. The Shoal River Bridge closures on I-10, 85 and HWY 90 are also an ever-changing situation but the above closure link will update with the most current information.
9.18.21 Follow our guide to make collecting yard debris as efficient as possible and stay tuned for additional updates.
9.18.20 #Recycling Update- make sure to tune in on Monday, September 21st, for the Facebook live @3 p.m.
9.18.20 Once the hazardous weather has moved out, the post-storm recovery and cleanup phase begins. We've compiled a list of basic safety tips! http://bit.ly/3hKm0uuPostStormSafety
9.18.20 We're still getting quite a few questions about power outages. We know Gulf Power Company Crews are working hard. Here's a link to the current status: https://map.gulfpower.com/. Kudos to those restoring our power. More than 33,000 restored so far, just in Okaloosa County. Thank you for your service!
9.18.20 Roads Update - We're keeping an updated list of road closures, damage and/or obstructions. 🖱 Click here for details ▶️ https://bit.ly/3iEwME8RoadClosures for the latest file of affected roadways. We will update this list regularly. 🖱 Click here for a map of affected roadways ▶️ http://arcg.is/afCX4 🚨 Remember to sign up for local alerts at http://bit.ly/3ksJhmtAlerts ⚠️ IF YOU MUST TRAVEL AND SEE STANDING WATER ON A ROAD, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN. 🖱 Sally Updates blog: https://bit.ly/3iHa1zcSallyUpdates *️⃣ Shoal, Yellow, and Blackwater Rivers are an ever-changing situation because of Sally's rainwater runoff from north to south. The Shoal River Bridge closures on I-10, 85 and HWY 90 are also an ever-changing situation but the above closure link will update with the most current information.
September 17, 2020
9.17.20 Heavy rains and the loss of power from Hurricane Sally have resulted in several sanitary sewer overflows in Okaloosa County's West Service Area in unincorporated Mary Esther.
According to Okaloosa Water and Sewer, the majority of the west's 26 lift stations, located along U.S. Highway 98, between Hurlburt Field and the Santa Rosa County line were submerged during Sally's move onshore. Water contaminated with wastewater presents health hazards and for your safety, do not enter the water at this time. If contact is made with contaminated water wash thoroughly. Please stay tuned to Okaloosa County social media channels for further updates as testing is completed. Please note that this does not affect drinking water.
For additional information visit http://bit.ly/2RFmJm4SSO
9.17.20 NORTH OKALOOSA COUNTY CURFEW: A curfew is in place for North Okaloosa County beginning at 10 PM this evening, through 6 AM tomorrow morning, September 18, 2020. This one-night curfew is in place to ensure the safety of our county while road damage is assessed and risks associated with flooded roads can be avoided.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office will NOT be ticketing people going to and from work.
9.17.20 - River Flood Update
9.17.20 Closures we're aware for Friday, September 18. Okaloosa County School District | City of Destin Parks | City of Destin Facilities | City of Fort Walton Beach Parks | City of Crestview
9.17.20 September 17 - The Latest Road Closure Updates - We're keeping an updated list of road closures, damage and/or obstructions.
Click myokaloosa.com/sites/default/files/users/PSUser/Road%20Closures%20Per%20WebEOC.pdf for the latest file of affected roadways. We will update this list regularly.
Remember to sign up for local alerts at https://member.everbridge.net/892807736724689/login
IF YOU MUST TRAVEL AND SEE STANDING WATER ON A ROAD, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN.
**Flooding along the Shoal River is expected to require the closure of Interstate 10 by the Florida Highway Patrol intermittently in both directions East of Crestview. Closures may be for extended periods. We'll provide updates. Keep an eye on http://bit.ly/3iEwME8RoadClosures **
**** Flooding along the Shoal River is expected to require the closure of the Highway 85 bridges South of Crestview in the next two hours. If you need to get North or South over the Highway 85 bridges, now is the time to do so. It is likely that the bridges will be closed for at least 16 hours to allow water to recede and for safety inspections to be completed. Stay tuned to local news and weather reports for further details. Additional messages will be issued as needed. ****
9.17.20 Morning PIO Update
September 16, 2020
9.16.20 - OKALOOSA COUNTY CURFEW
A curfew is in place for Okaloosa County beginning at 9 PM this evening, through 6 AM tomorrow morning, September 17, 2020. This one-night curfew is in place to ensure the safety of our county while road damage is assessed and risks can be mitigated, prior to normal traffic-flow. More at https://static.wixstatic.com/media/594aeb_95b0d42e76bf4af6b032b74eaed97361~mv2.jpeg
9.16.20 1 PM - The 1pm advisory has downgraded Sally to a Tropical Storm. The Hurricane Warning for our area has been canceled and replaced with a tropical storm warning. https://member.everbridge.net/892807736724689/weather/vDnnnh5pu.
- LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: EQUIVALENT TROPICAL STORM FORCE WIND
- PEAK WIND FORECAST: 45-55 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 70 MPH
- WINDOW FOR TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS: UNTIL EARLY THURSDAY
Additionally, we have learned that Okaloosa County Schools will remain closed Thursday, September 17.
9.16.20 11 AM - It’s been a busy few days and we hope that our friends, family and neighbors in Okaloosa County are fairing well on this 3rd day of Sally. Here are some general Hurricane Sally Okaloosa County Updates:
📲 Real-time Okaloosa County Emergency Management Updates: https://alertokaloosa.com
📲 For real-time alerts and updates on road closures: https://member.everbridge.net/892807736724689/login
📲 For a list of road closures updated manually by Okaloosa County Public Information: https://okaloosacounty.wixsite.com/website-1/post/okaloosa-county-road-closures-due-to-hurricane-sally
📲 For a list of all Hurricane Sally Updates - This blog!
📲 For up to the minute storm updates https://www.nhc.noaa.gov
📲 For reporting storm damage: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/8ce4fbeca4a34dc58a12d40bdd4866f1
📲 For the hurricane guide - Including what to expect AFTER the storm: http://www.myokaloosa.com/sites/default/files/users/piouser/Hurricane%20Guide%202020-3%20.pdf
9.16.20 - Quick follow an update about Okaloosa County transit operation schedules
9.16.20 - PIO update at the Emergency Operations Command Center
9.16.20 - Niceville– Okaloosa County has set up a series of collection and information points throughout the county. At these points, residents and visitors will be able to get information and/or be transported to the shelter in Niceville by Okaloosa County Transit Buses. .
THESE AREAS WILL BE STAFFED BY EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL FROM OKALOOSA EMS. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THEM FROM THE FLASHING LIGHTS ON THEIR AMBULANCE/MEDICAL UNIT.
The Locations are:
- South Fort Walton Beach: Bruner Middle School - 322 Holmes Boulevard
- North Fort Walton Beach: Choctawhatchee High School – 110 Racetrack Road
- East Fort Walton Beach: Uptown Station – 99 Eglin Parkway West
- West Fort Walton Beach: Santa Rosa Mall – 300 Mary Esther Parkway
We are in the process of opening these areas at this time.
9.16.20 LIST OF FLOODED, DAMAGED AND/OR CLOSED ROADS. IF YOU MUST BE ON THE ROAD FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL AND SEE STANDING WATER ON A ROAD, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN. 🚧
We've begun updating this spreadsheet of closures as of 9.16.20 at 10pm
We will do our best to update this thread with he latest closures 🚫 but remember to sign up 📲 for local alerts at https://member.everbridge.net/892807736724689/login
GREATER FORT WALTON BEACH
⚠️Hugh St. in front of Ferry Park
⚠️ Highway 98 From Memorial to Beal
⚠️ Brooks Bridge is closed due to flooding on Highway 98
⚠️ Westbound lanes of 98 just east of the Hurlburt Flight Line
⚠️ Westbound lanes on 98 at Marler Bridge
⚠️ Westbound lanes of 98 at the Hurlburt Overpass
⚠️ All of highway 98 on Okaloosa island
⚠️ SR 85 in Shalimar
⚠️ South Mary Esther Boulevard by the Dodge Dealership
⚠️ Intersection of Hollywood and Cristobal
⚠️ Carnathan Court in Fort Walton Beach
⚠️ MLK Jr Blvd between freedom way and lovejoy
⚠️ All westbound lanes on 98 are closed between Hurlburt Field and Destin.
⚠️ One east bound lane open from Hurlburt to Brooks Bridge
⚠️ Bayshore Drive from 29th Street to 27th St
NORTHERN OKALOOSA COUNTY
➕⚠️ Yellow River Baptist Church Road
➕⚠️ Shockley Springs
➕⚠️ Polly Creek
➕⚠️ Horse Creek at Old River Road
➕⚠️ Dead Fall at Old River Road
➕⚠️ Pond Creek & 393
➕⚠️ Penny Creek
⚠️ The roadway at the Kennedy Bridge in Baker
⚠️ Small bridge on Red Barrow Rd and HWY 189 in Baker
⚠️The Bridge on Poverty Creek Road at Clear Creek Road in Crestview
⚠️ Antioch road and Ashley drive
⚠️1st Ave (Crestview)
⚠️Westbound Traffic into Crestview on Hwy 90 will be restricted to one lane.
9.16.20 Shelter Update - ⚠️We have seen rapid intensification of Hurricane Sally. The Raider Arena is being used a shelter for those evacuated/displaced by flooding.
Northwest Florida State College
100 College Blvd East
Niceville, FL 32578
**Edit for clarification ** In case it is unclear Ultimately, STAY OFF THE ROADS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. IF IT CANNOT BE AVOIDED, FOR EXAMPLE ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL, AND YOU SEE STANDING WATER ON A ROAD, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN. Emergency Management is aware of flooded areas and are performing evacuations. Contact the sheriff’s office for non-emergency flooding at 850-651-7400. As always dial 911 for emergencies.
Raider Arena More info on Okaloosa County Shelters: http://www.myokaloosa.com/sites/default/files/users/psuser/Emergency%20Shelter%20Information%202020.pdf
9.16.20 4am update - We have seen rapid intensification overnight. See below for the latest NHC update. We'll provide updates from Okaloosa County Emergency Operations Center throughout the day. There are several road closures, bridge closures. Ultimately, STAY OFF THE ROADS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. IF YOU SEE STANDING WATER ON A ROAD, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN. Sign up for local alerts if you haven't already: https://member.everbridge.net/892807736724689/login #HurricaneSally
9.16.20 early morning update from Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox
September 15, 2020
9.15.20 Late night update - Public Safety Director, Patrick Maddox
9.15.20 - Evening Update with Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox
9.15.20 6pm Hurricane Sally Update - Okaloosa County Emergency Management has completed an evening call with NWS. Although there was another very slight shift in track to the East (Baldwin County landfall projected instead of Dauphin Island), no major changes to our expected impacts at this time.
The tornado watch for Okaloosa County has been extended through 6AM Wednesday as expected. The weather will continue deteriorating further overnight and sustained minimal tropical storm force winds can be expected along the immediate coast with gusts of 45-55 moving inland trough Wednesday afternoon/early evening. Rainfall values of 15-20 with higher values in areas of training thunderstorms are still projected throughout the county. Up to this point we have received about 6 inches of rain near the coast and about 4 inches of rain inland. Areas with persistent bands may have some higher values. We will continue to monitor and provide updates.
9.15.20 - Closures that we're aware of:
1.) County offices shut down for tomorrow with the exception of essential services. That includes EMS, Corrections, and Water Treatment Plant Operators.
2.) Fixed-route transit shuts at 5 PM tonight and remains closed tomorrow.
3.) Transfer stations will be closed tomorrow and waste management will not be running routes tomorrow.
4.) The Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier is closed until Further notice
5.) Okaloosa county Schools remain closed tomorrow, Wednesday 9.16.20
6.) BAKER: Old River Road at Cotton Creek Bridge is currently closed due to tree down across power line. https://local.nixle.com/alert/8245482/?sub_id=0
7. Okaloosa County Tax Collector, Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections
9.15.20 - County Service changes due to Hurricane Sally - Services normally scheduled for Wednesday will be performed on alternate dates as outlined later in this thread. This closure also includes no operations at either transfer station. Along these lines we have also been informed by ECUA that they are suspending the receipt of recyclables at least through Wednesday; they will keep us informed of further decisions as conditions allow.
1. Okaloosa County residential customers with garbage collection on Wednesday, September 16th will be collected on Saturday, September 19th. 2. Okaloosa County Yard Waste and Bulk collection scheduled for Wednesday, September 16th will be collected on Saturday, September 19th. 3. Okaloosa County Recycle Collection scheduled for Wednesday, September 16th will be collected on Saturday, September 19th. 4. All Commercial routes scheduled for Wednesday, September 16th will be collected on Thursday, September 17th. 5. The South Okaloosa County Transfer Station will be closed on September 16th and will reopen on Thursday, September 17th.
9.15.20 1pm update: Hurricane Sally Update and detailed discussion from Okaloosa County Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox. Spoiler alert: It's going to rain a lot, winds will pick up to 40-45 mph and we are under a state of emergency per Governor DeSantis and a local state of emergency declared by Okaloosa County BCC. Okaloosa County Schools Will Remain Closed Tomorrow, September 16. Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier is Closed until further notice. Hurricane Sally Storm-related damage can be reported here https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/8ce4fbeca4a34dc58a12d40bdd4866f1
Full Text: The track shifted Eastward a bit again and landfall is now projected to be near Dauphin Island, Alabama around 7AM Wednesday Morning. Maximum sustained winds are now at 80 MPH and surface temperatures indicate that upwelling of cooler water from the shallow basin near the coast is prohibiting any significant intensification. This intensity is projected to remain at landfall, quickly weakening to a tropical Storm afterward.
The Eastward shift bumped up our storm surge to 3-5 feet from 2-4 feet, which still did not put any structures at risk according to EM. However, rainfall values across the area are raised a bit with 8-15 inches likely, pockets of 20” possible and 30” in areas of Northwest Florida which see training thunderstorms set up in static locations. Weather will obviously deteriorate this afternoon and evening with sustained tropical storm force winds in the 40-45 MPH range possible along the immediate coastal areas, with gusts into the 50 MPH range. This means that some bridges could be closed if that projection verifies. That’s the best prediction we can give on arrival of sustained T/S force winds at this point. A tornado watch is in place for our area through 6PM, but I expect that will be extended at least through the overnight hours. We should see tropical storm conditions abate late Wednesday afternoon, early evening, just in time to dig into the flood threat.
All 3 rivers are forecast to reach major flood stage and could see “historic flooding” if the largest amounts of anticipated rainfall are produced. We are preparing message for residents in those affected areas and will have shelter operations announced shortly.
Yesterday, the Governor’s Executive Order 20-224 for Emergency Management only included Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. After some conversation, the Order has been amended in EO 20-225 to include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Walton and Washington counties. We also have an Local State of Emergency in Place.
9.15.20 - Hurricane Sally Update with Public Safety Director, Patrick Maddox
9.15.20 There increasing confidence in major flooding to all 3 rivers in the Thursday-Friday time frame. Emergency Management has put together a map with plotted points, split into North and South county areas, based on the track shift and rain values, which should give us a good idea of which roadways may be affected. Stay informed of local impacts and sign up for alerts at AlertOkaloosa.com
10am 9.15.20 Hurricane Sally Update The track has shifted East again, but no strengthening to the system, which is good. Our storm surge values have increased to 3-5 feet from 2-4 feet, which EM advises does not put any structures in danger. Rainfall values will of course increase with this shift, and there is increasing confidence in major flooding to all 3 rivers in the Thursday-Friday time frame. EM is put together a map with plotted points based on the track shift and rain values (will share in a later post), which should give us a good ideas of which roadways may be affected. This is based on the “reasonable worst case scenario”- meaning if we receive all the rain predicted. Please be prepared to react to these areas and divert traffic if necessary. More to come on local impacts after the FDEM and NWS calls are complete.
9.15.20 Sand Bag Distribution. Here are the details. Here are the details: 1759 North Ferdon Boulevard in Crestview AND 24/7 at 714 Essex Road in Fort Walton Beach. We understand the City of Fort Walton may also have availability at 116 Hollywood Boulevard SW on the access road at the city's old maintenance facility.
It's always a good idea to bring a shovel and bags to a sand/sandbag distribution.
9.15.20 Tornado watch until 6pm. Visit https://alertokaloosa.com/ for local watches, warnings, conditions and to sign up for alerts. More info on the current Tornado Watch: forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=tae&wwa=tornado%20watch
7am 9.15.20 - Sally weakened a bit overnight from a 100 MPH Cat 2 Hurricane to an 85 MPH Cat 1 Hurricane. The discussion out of Okaloosa County Public Safety is that this was likely caused by some wind shear and upwelling (drafting of cooler water by slow moving storms across shallower basins). This is good news for us wind-wise but does not affect our rainfall expectations. That weakening has held though the 7AM update. We're staying tuned for a new update from hurricane hunters.
The latest graphic shows Sally weakening to a strong tropical storm either at or immediately after landfall around mid-day tomorrow. The system is very slow moving, currently NW at 2 MPH, which is why the rainfall values are so high. Remember that this is still a dangerous system, and gusty winds with heavy rains, ponding water, downed limbs and powerlines and flooding rivers are all players at this point. The rivers are going to keep us busy Thursday into Friday for certain. More to come after emergency management and national weather service conference calls.
9.15 4am update
September 14, 2020
9.14.20 News Update
• This storms final track is still uncertain. Don’t panic, prepare. You can go onto alertokaloosa.com to check out a guide and other resources to Prepare for any possible impacts we may have.
• We are looking at sustained winds in the 25-35 MPH range (just below tropical storm force) along the immediate coast with gusts to 50 MPH throughout the county, and combined with persistent, heavy rain.
• While we are going to see some elevated sustained winds, tropical storm force wind gusts and heavy rains, our area of greatest concern is going to be ponding water and flooding of our rivers. There is potential for the Blackwater, Shoal and Yellow Rivers to reach flood stage and higher, which is being carefully monitored by Emergency Management. This is due to some persistent heavy rainfall expected in our area. Most of the county is going to see between 8-10 inches of rain. Some portions of the county may see more than 15 inches of rain over the next few days. It’s likely we will see our rivers reach flood stage by Wednesday and additional messaging and protective measures will be employed if necessary.
• We say this every time there is a flooding event: DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED OUT AREAS. It’s one of the most deadly decisions you can undertake. TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN. Report flood conditions to emergency personnel.
• TRAVEL: If you don’t need to leave Your home in the next couple of days, don’t.
• SHELTERS: based on the current track of the storm,and anticipated impacts in our area, we don’t anticipate opening hurricane risk shelters at this time. We will continue to evaluate and make changes if necessary.
• COUNTY EMPLOYEES: County Offices will be closed tomorrow, we will evaluate the situation on Wednesday.
• COURT EMPLOYEES: Courts in Okaloosa County will be closed as well tomorrow (Tuesday)
2pm 9.14.20 - Okaloosa County Schools Remain Closed for Tuesday, September 15.
1pm 9.14.20 - Mobile Covid-19 Testing Sites are cancelled for Tuesday September 15.
12:30pm 9.14.20 - Hurricane Sally Update - Many extended conference calls and changes to the system and guidance envelopes. Okaloosa County Public Safety Emergency Operations is at remote Level 2 for dual events (COVID and Hurricane Sally) with an Incident Management Team (IMT) operating remotely.
We completed the morning calls with Florida Department of Emergency Management and National Weather Service. Attached, is the data discussed, from Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox. The following is a quick summary:
Sally has become a hurricane with 85 MPH (reported later at 90 MPH) max sustained winds and may strengthen prior to landfall on late Tuesday/early Wednesday, which means we will be experiencing heavy rain and Tropical Storm Force gusts during that period and possibly through Wednesday evening. The track has shifted a bit East. Further changes may result in greater impacts. There is a Tropical Storm Warning and Storm Surge Watch for our area. Currently we are expected to see:
• Frequent Tropical Storm Force gusts to 50 MPH beginning this afternoon through Wednesday night, possibility of sustained T/S winds if track shifts farther East
• Prolonged periods of heavy rain through Wednesday with 6-10” across much of the County, 10” near the S/W Coast (Western Ft. Walton and Mary Esther area) and localized areas of 12”.
• Possibility of a few tornadoes as with any landfalling tropical system- even through Wednesday
• Surf heights of 8-12 feet and dangerous RIP currents
• Storm surge of 1-3 feet
• Major River Flooding for all 3 rivers with major flood stage beginning on Thursday through Friday- NCS shelter ops being reviewed through state. This flooding will affect homes and some roadways.
Changes in track and intensity can change these values. Be prepared for short-fuse changes with this system. We will continue to monitor and provide updates. Preparedness Resources found here: https://bit.ly/2QaJ1f0OkaloosaHurricaneResources #preparedontpanic
** Okaloosa County Schools will Remain Closed Tuesday, September 15 **