Walton County Emergency Operations
The Walton County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to remind the public Walton County beaches (water, sand and accesses) remain closed for today, Wednesday, August 29, 2012.
Debris, along with the rough surf conditions, has made the beach areas unsafe. The integrity of beach access structures will remain in question until they have been inspected. Yellow tape has been placed at certain points on accesses for the safety of the public. Please do not cross these areas and put your safety, as well as those of public safety officers, in danger. Damage assessment teams will continue to monitor the beaches throughout the day and upon a reassessment of conditions, a decision will be made tomorrow morning whether to re-open beach areas.
Beach flag conditions can be monitored at www.swfd.org and on South Walton Fire Department's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/southwaltonfire. Conditions can also be monitored at www.visitsouthwalton.com.
Walton County Health Department
The suspension of services at the Walton County Health Department has been removed.
Clinical and primary care services, dental services, vital statistics, and environmental health at the DeFuniak Springs office as well as at the Coastal Facility in Santa Rosa Beach will resume as normal on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. WIC Services are expected to resume as normal on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at the DeFuniak Springs office as well as at the Coastal Facility in Santa Rosa Beach.
For more information, please contact the Walton County Health Department at (850)892-8015.
Walton County Emergency Management
As of the 2:00 p.m. briefing of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the following will be instituted and effective as of 3 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, 2012:
As a result of these actions:
Any wildlife or marine life that may be encountered should not be approached, and the appropriate authorities should be contacted. These include but are not limited to:
MONDAY 8/27/12 UPDATES
The Walton County Sheriff's Emergency Operations Center EOC is currently at Level 1 activation status. As of 1:30 P.M., the following information was provided:
• Our area is currently under a tropical storm warning.
• Currently, the storm is tracking to make landfall somewhere near or around New Orleans, La.
• The Clyde B. Wells Bridge remains open with fluid traffic flow until further notice. It is recommended that residents and visitors refrain from traveling southbound when possible as there is still the potential for a bridge closing.
• Winds from this storm currently extend approximately 200 miles from the center.
• The first bands from the storm are currently approaching our area.
• Double red flags have been posted for all Walton County beaches in anticipation of degrading weather situations. Lifeguards will remain on duty throughout the rest of Monday.
• Walton County could expect sustained winds from 35-45 mph with gusts up to 55 mph, with a moderate threat of tornadoes increasing on Tuesday.
• Walton County could expect moderate erosion with wave heights between reaching a potential 16 feet with an average of 10 feet and a storm surge of 3-5 feet.
• Rain totals for Walton County have diminished and are anticipated to be in the neighborhood of 6-10 inches on the coast and 4 to 6 inches inland.
• Walton County can expect the largest impact from storm surge Tuesday morning with weather picking up early Monday evening.
• Currently, the only shelter open in the county is at Freeport High School. This is a special needs/general public shelter. Red Cross is present at the shelter.
• Waste Management will continue normal pickup for Monday and schedules for Tuesday will be determined later today.
• At this time, there are no scheduled road closures. Coastal roads, including Highway 98 and County Highway 30-A, are open at this time.
• There have been no changes in current evacuation orders. This will continue to be evaluated.
According to our media partner WZEP, the Emergency Operation Management Center is requiring schools to be closed and used as evacuation shelters for inclement weather conditions approaching our area. Supt. Anderson is responding to the requirement to close schools. Therefore, schools will be closed in Walton County on Monday and Tuesday. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
In addition, in response to the possibility of landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac, the Walton County Health Department, in conjunction with all county offices, will be closed for all services Monday and Tuesday, August 27th and 28th and until further notice.
These services include clinical and primary care services, dental services, vital statistics, environmental health and WIC services at the DeFuniak Springs office as well as at the Coastal Facility in Santa Rosa Beach.
In preparation for landfall of the storm, the Walton County Health Department will open a Special Needs Shelter by 9:00 am on Monday, August 27th. This is a shelter of last resort for pre-registered Walton County residents and will be located inside Freeport High School at 12615 US Hwy 33 Freeport, FL.
Also, The Walton County Board of County Commissioners, in conjunction with the Walton County Sheriff's Office and Board of Education, has issued a local state of emergency in response to the impending weather event to be caused by Tropical Storm Isaac. As part of the local state of emergency, the board has taken the following actions.
1. There is currently a voluntary evacuation in place and a mandatory evacuation will be instituted on Monday, August 27 at 6:00am for all residents south of HWY 20 that are located in low lying areas and in flood zones A and B. These zones can be found on the Sheriff's Office website atwww.waltonso.org.
2. All Walton County Government Offices will be closed for employees on Monday, August 27th and Tuesday, August 28th with the exception of essential personnel. Essential personnel will be contacted by their supervisors. Any employees who have questions regarding their reporting to work are requested to contact their supervisors.
3. Residents that are scheduled to report for jury duty on Monday, August 27th are requested to call the number on their jury summons between 10:00 pm Sunday, August 26th and 7:00 am Monday, August 27th for further information.
4. The BCC has rescheduled their regularly scheduled board meeting and items that fall under the agenda from Tuesday, August 28th at 9:00 am to Thursday, August 30th at 9:00 am at the courthouse in Defuniak Springs.
Tropical Storm Isaac #5 update
For Immediate Release
August 27, 2012
Due to technical issues, the Walton County Sheriff's Office website (www.waltonso.org) has temporarily crashed. This issue is being addressed at time and we will inform you when the page is back up and running. In the meantime, keep up with what is going on currently on our Facebook page, our sister Facebook page, Walton Alert, and our Twitter page (wcsopio1).
As of 8 a.m. this morning, the Walton County Emergency Management Center will be operating at a Level 1 status (fully staffed and operational). The Freeport High School is OPEN as a Special Need and General Population Shelter at this time. Walton County is still expected to receive high winds and a large amount of rain, along with the potential for tornadoes. The next weather briefing will take place at 8:30 a.m. and after that, we will be able to release more information about how this storm will affect our county.
Department of Children and Families
Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to continue to impact Florida as it treks northwest through Gulf of Mexico. Florida's residents, businesses and visitors should actively monitor the storm and finalize emergency preparations. Heed all instructions from local officials and contact your local emergency management agency for details about your area.
The Department of Children and Families announces the following office closures due to Tropical Storm Isaac:
· Bay (closed Tuesday)
· Escambia (closed noon Monday)
· Santa Rosa (closed Tuesday)
· Walton (closed Monday and Tuesday)
A new web page on our internet site will give updated information about DCF-related issues and office closings during hurricanes and other disasters. Please go to www.myflfamilies.com/disaster for more information.
To prepare your family for a hurricane, please go to the state of Florida's "Get a Plan" site at www.floridadisaster.org. For more information about food safety, please download "A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes" at www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Severe_Storms_and_Hurricanes_Guide.pdf
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners has called an emergency meeting for Sunday August 26th at 1:00 pm at the Courthouse in Defuniak Springs, FL.
This meeting is to be held in combination with the Walton County Sheriff's Office to declare a local state of emergency.
The Walton County Emergency Operations Center has now moved into Level 2 activation status. As of the morning meeting, the following information was provided:
-Our area is currently under a Hurricane Watch.
-According to the track of the storm at this time, it is taking a western track.
-If the track stays on course, we will deal with 45-60 mph hour winds, with gusts of 75 mph in land. Coastal areas will have winds of approximately 80 mph.
-Rainfall and storm surge will be of much significance. Storm surge is expected to be between 2-4 ft. (with tide will be between 3-5 ft.). Rainfall totals could range between 10-12 inches. Coastal and river flooding can be expected.
-Tornadoes will be possible.
-Again, if the track stays on course, we can expect Tropical Storm force winds to arrive between 5-7 p.m. on Monday. Storm surge is expected to arrive Monday afternoon and last into Tuesday.
More information will be forthcoming, as another meeting is scheduled to take place at 10:15 a.m.