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EF-1 tornado damage displaces 8 families in Okaloosa County

WEAR - Tornado damage in Northwest Florida

The National Weather Service is confirming an EF-1 tornado hit the Fort Walton Beach area on Sunday. They said max winds were around 100 miles per hour.

Fort Walton Beach saw damage in many areas, but one of the hardest hit places was a low income apartment complex off Robinwood Drive. Several roofs were blown off and piles of debris were all over the property.

Large pieces of wood actually pierced through the siding and went into a home. Eight families consisting of 20 people are now displaced.

Families are now picking up pieces of metal, shingles and other debris. The roofs were torn off of five buildings at the public housing apartments.

Charles Johnson said, "It just stayed in one particular area and then moved over to my neighbor's house. It took the roof and it was gone."

Trees were snapped in two in the Ocean City area. At St. Mary's Catholic school, bleachers are a mangled mess and you can find pieces flung throughout the campus.

The National Weather Service out of Mobile spent Monday surveying several areas.

Jason Beaman with NWS Mobile/Pensacola said, "We will start from where tornado came ashore and we'll survey the type of damage that occured and give it an intensity rating. We will track the path from south to north as it moved across the area so we can figure out the path and intensity."

They started that survey on Okaloosa Island where it appears the tornado first came ashore. The EF-1 tornado hit a home.

Michelle Seitz's home is now unlivable. Her roof is now in the pool and the kitchen has been destroyed.

"It was not even 10 seconds when we got down there. We heard stuff rip off the house, we came upstairs, saw the roof was off over kitchen area, boat was gone, bannisters were gone, At the time, the tornado was sitting in the middle of the sound turning," she said.

The Red Cross has stepped in to help anyone that was displaced and has put them in temporary housing. The residents at this complex will be moved into empty apartments by the end of the week.

Authorities say, fortunately, no one was injured in Okaloosa County from the storm. The National Weather Service also confirmed two EF-2 tornados touched down in Baldwin County, Alabama.


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