Strong storms caused structure damage in one Northwest Florida town

By: Martha Spencer Email
By: Martha Spencer Email

"It started off mellow you could hear the hail coming and then all of a sudden you couldn't even hear yourself talk it was so loud and then the wind came crashing in...and it was pretty incredible actually" said Tonya Morgan, Darlington resident.

That incredible storm moved through portions of Darlington, Florida producing hail reported as large as baseballs, and wind gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour, according to Walton County Emergency Response Director Ed Baltzley.

Baltzley said, "at one time I was told there were seventeen roads blocked from limbs being blown over".

The storm moved through the area at about 60 miles an hour, and while it moved through quickly, residents say it felt much longer.

"From the worst to the worst what maybe 15 minutes, it wasnt very long but it seemed increadibly long at the time." said Cindy Bailer.

But the blown out windows and bent metal at Cindy;s home was nothing compared to the damages across the street. Tonya Morgan and her family were inside when strong winds brought a tree down cutting their mobile home in half.

Miraculously, nobody was unjured.

Morgan said, "the lightning and wind was nothing for Florida-like weather but when the hail started coming it really sounded like it hit the window back there and um we just hit the deck."

The entire family was just a few feet from where the tree landed. While only a few homes were damaged, cleanup crews in the area worked until the early hours of the morning clearing debris off the roads.

Batlzly told News 4, "they did a jam up job but they were out to almost three this morning, as I was out doing damage assessment there were also other cleanup crews out clearing debris on the sides of the roads"

Four homes were damaged in Walton county. The storm progressed eastward and later produced a tornado in Grady and Thomas counties in southeast Georgia.

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