NW Florida deals with severe weather conditions

Just like many areas on the Gulf Coast, folks in Northwest Florida dealt with severe thunderstorm conditions on March 16, 2014.

Officials say severe thunderstorms moved through the area which deteriorated conditions quickly.

But compared to some neighboring areas, Okaloosa County Emergency Management Chief Randy McDaniel says it could have been much worse.

“We had heavy rain and some gusty winds. That was the main impact. We did have localized flooding but when the rain stopped most of it went away,” said McDaniel.

Officials say other than a wreck that blocked traffic for several minutes on I-10, they saw very few problems.

Even a funnel cloud that was spotted north of Crestview moved out of the area causing no reported damage.

“We didnt have any reports of damage. There were no lightning strikes or downed trees or power outages. We did have one lightning strike near the emergency operating center but it didn’t cause any damage,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel says despite the fact no damage was caused by the storm, they’re always preparing for the worst. A big part of the response is the county’s “Code Red” system which automatically alerts residents anytime there’s a potentially dangerous situation.

“The system sets itself off and makes calls in the affected areas. We used it for all kinds of notifications,” said McDaniel.

Local Ronald Mims says the “Code Red” system helps him feel more at ease during bad weather.

“It makes me feel much safer. The weather changes really fast so it does help alot,” McDaniel said.

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