Before 9 o’clock this morning, Walton co. Commission Chairman Sara Comander declared a local state of emergency due to Hurricane Ida.

A standard procedure in the event of a major event like a hurricane, and allows the county to start the process to apply for federal funds and state resources in the event the storm results in damage to the county.

Walton County Emergency Operations Center, Captain Mike Barker, is encouraged by the National Weather Service eight o’clock teleconference indicating that the storm has shown a weakening.

But, the unpredictable nature of a tropical system means that it could possibly strengthen once again.

A landfill along the Gulf Coast is expected between midnight and 6am Tuesday. At this time, the landfall is expected to be east of Mobile Bay.

All non-emergency county functions will be closed down at noon today, and remain closed through Tuesday.

A voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas and mobile home parks south of Highway 20 is in effect immediately.

The Freeport High School gymnasium will serve as a shelter, and a special needs’ shelter beginning two o’clock this afternoon.

School will close at the normal time today, and there will be no school in Walton County on Tuesday due to predictions of heavy rainfall.

Captain Barker is advising motorists’ to stay off the road whenever possible.

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