Local State of Emergency Declared in Walton, Gulf, Washington Co - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Local State of Emergency Declared in Walton, Gulf, Washington Counties

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Area counties have declared a local state of emergency for their areas due to flood waters from recent rains.

Walton County

The Walton County Sheriff's Office, in coordination with the Walton County Board of County Commissioners, has issued a local state of emergency for Walton County as of Tuesday, February 26, 2013. This issuance of a local state of emergency is in response to local areas of flooding in the southeastern part of the county in and around the Choctawhatchee River. The current flood waters are expected to crest by Friday, March 1st at 20.5 feet.

As part of the issuance of this local state of emergency, the following actions are being taken by the Sheriff's Office in order to protect the safety of the citizens and visitors of Walton County:

  • The Sheriff's Office has issued a voluntary evacuation of all affected and surrounding areas.  The order will be in effect beginning at 3 p.m. today for all low-lying areas south of County Road 181-C to the mouth of Choctawhatchee Bay, including the Bunker and Steel field Areas.
  • A shelter will be open at 3:00 PM on February 26, 2013 for evacuees at the Bruce United Methodist Church located at 269 Church Road in Bruce, FL.

Those who decide to take advantage of the shelter should bring the following items with them as needed:

  1. Identification
  2. Important medications
  3. Special medical devices such wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen, etc.
  4. Diapers, infant formula, baby foods if needed
  5. Bedding, pillows, blankets, etc.
  6. Puzzles, books, small games for children
  7. Food and water for 72 hours.

The Sheriff's Office will be working with the utility providers in the area in the case that services may be delayed.

At this time, it is anticipated that flood waters in the southeastern part of the County in the area of the Choctawhatchee River may reach levels equivalent to those in 2009.  The public is reminded to be vigilant and cautious when dealing with local flood warnings.

Updates or further information will be provided to the public through the Walton County Sheriff's Office website, facebook account, Walton Alert (Facebook account), twitter and other local media outlets.  All questions can be answered by calling the Walton County Sheriff's Office at 850-892-8186

Gulf County

The Gulf County Board of County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency as of Tuesday, February 26 at 9 a.m.

More information will be made public soon.

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Franklin County

The Franklin County Board of County Commissioners' at this time is issuing a VOLUNTARY EVACUATION NOTICE for: Residents living along the Apalachicola River and campsites starting at the Hickory Landing on Owl Creek and continuing South along Hwy 65. Please be aware this status could change very quickly to mandatory as the water starts coming down from the North.  The national weather service at this time is anticipating that the river level at Blountstown to reach 25 feet by Thursday and this does not include the water that will be coming from the Chipola River. The residents living along the Apalachicola River around the city of Apalachicola are not under this notice at this time. Please monitor the river levels and start preparing now for possible flooding in this area later in the week. Sand bags are available at the County State Yard off of Bluff Road in Apalachicola. Please only take what you need.

This is a precautionary notice, and is NOT mandatory.  However, the evacuation is strongly advised.

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Washington County

The Washington County Commission has declared a local state of emergency beginning at noon Monday and continuing until further notice.

The potential for flash flooding will be significant on Monday afternoon. Additional rainfall of 4 to 6 inches is possible with isolated amounts in excess of 8 inches. Roadways are being impacted causing dangerous driving conditions and potentially significant flooding on the Choctawhatchee River is forecast with some locations to reach major flooding stage in the days ahead.