Road closures near Mid-Bay Bridge this weekend

To: Daily Rundown Readers

TOGETHER WITH

Good morning! I turned 35 over the weekend and I couldn’t help but think about how I’ve been in this community now for…35 years. I’m curious, how long have you been in this community? Hit the reply and let me know 🙂

NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured this image of Hurricane Laura on August 26, 2020 as it approached the Gulf Coast. (NOAA)

For 2021, NOAA is predicting another active Atlantic hurricane season. Here’s what they are currently predicting with a 70% confidence on the ranges:

  • A likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher)
  • Of those, 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher)
  • Including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher)

“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”

Last month, NOAA updated the statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the latest climate record. Based on this update an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are currently in the neutral phase, with the possibility of the return of La Nina later in the hurricane season, according to NOAA.

“ENSO-neutral and La Nina support the conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon will likely be factors in this year’s overall activity.”

According to NOAA scientists, they don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, but it only takes one storm to devastate a community.

“The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator.

Last year’s record-breaking season serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season.

The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30.

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Latest on the shooting at Coyote Ugly in Destin

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators responded to a fatal shooting that took place around 3:30am on Friday morning outside the Coyote Ugly nightclub on Harbor Boulevard in Destin.

Calls were received in reference to multiple shots fired. According to the OCSO, Deputies found two victims in the parking lot. One person was taken to an area hospital for treatment. Deputies attempted lifesaving measures on a second victim, but the man died at the scene.

Witnesses say the suspects were seen leaving in a white, newer model car.

Now, the OCSO has located the white Lexus deputies had been searching for. The owner of the Lexus, a Fort Walton Beach area resident, says he was not using it the morning of the shooting. OCSO Investigators have talked to two individuals who were in the vehicle and who have provided further details.

Investigators believe based on witness interviews that the occupants of two other vehicles seen on video surveillance, a convertible and a large SUV, may also have pertinent information. Both vehicles are seen in the video traveling eastbound on Highway 98 after the shooting.

There is also additional video showing people around two cars a greater distance from the scene, but who may be able to provide leads.

Investigators would like to locate and talk to all these individuals to see if anyone can provide details into the shooting that took the life of 26-year old Jose Barroetabena Morejon of Crestview.

Click here to see the video of the vehicles

Okaloosa County EMS Crew Recognized for Humanitarian Efforts

On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, two Okaloosa County EMS team members were presented with the Okaloosa County H.E.R.O. Award (Humanitarian Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County) for their heroic actions earlier this year.

George Lee (Paramedic) and Devon Hare (EMT) had begun stabilizing a patient suffering from a medical emergency when the ambulance doors flung open, following a commotion outside.

On February 26, 2021, a panicked couple, unfamiliar with the area, happened upon the ambulance while driving down Racetrack Road, in search of a hospital for their infant, who was not breathing. When the ambulance doors opened, a lifeless infant was handed over to the crew by a desperate father and distraught mother. The couple was pleading for the crew inside to help their child.

Lee, Hare and the firefighters assisting with the first patient’s medical care took the infant and quickly initiated CPR while simultaneously caring for the initial patient. After a short duration of CPR, Lee observed a pulse and contacted dispatch for a second ambulance. Time was of the essence so the decision was made to transport both patients in one ambulance.

Hare hurried to the driver’s seat to respond to the hospital. As they departed, the initial patient was able to communicate and advised the crew that she did not want to go to the hospital. Her concerns were addressed when they arrived at the hospital, the infant was awake and crying and the initial patient was transported back home.

“We are grateful for our EMS team who are quiet heroes who save lives by making educated decisions in emergency situations,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman, Carolyn Ketchel.

Improvements coming Okaloosa Island access

Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners approved moving forward with improvements to Sound-side County access No. 2, also known as the Okaloosa Island Boat Basin.

Some of the improvements include:

  • ADA-accessible kayak and canoe launch
  • 20-space parking lot
  • Additional landscaping and fencing

While tourism helps the county pay for projects like this, it’s expected that this will be enjoyed by seasonal guests along with locals, according to Okaloosa Public Info Officer April Sarver.

Accommodations were made to the original proposal based on feedback from neighboring properties prompting the addition of fencing and landscaping.

Seasonal road closures near Mid-Bay Bridge in Niceville starting this weekend

For the fourth year in a row, White Point Road and Lakeshore Drive will be closed to through traffic on Saturday afternoons from May 29 – September 4, 2021.

The closure takes place each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day to maintain traffic safety and relieve residents on these roads from congestion brought about, primarily by southbound tourism traffic, on State Road 293 toward the Mid-Bay bridge, taking detours through residential neighborhoods.

The Saturday afternoon closures will take place from approximately noon to 6 p.m. Planning authorities want to remind motorists that the start and end time are approximate due to fluctuations in traffic volume, according to County officials.

“The seasonal lane-closure has improved traffic flow year-after-year, thanks to the cooperation and advanced planning of multiple agencies; notably the good work of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies who monitor and enforce the traffic changes,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Vice Chairman Mel Ponder. “Keeping the community informed and planning ahead are pertinent to the safety of motorists and residents alike.

Message boards along State Road 20 and State Road 293 will activate at approximately 11 a.m. on closure day, alerting motorists of the temporary closure. Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies will manage the blockade and patrol the area

Other Reads

Rep. Andrade says he’s ‘confident’ Three Mile Bridge will reopen by Memorial Day weekend
State Representative Alex Andrade tells Channel 3 News he is confident the 3-Mile Bridge will reopen by this weekend. “The 3-Mile Bridge will open by 10 am of Friday of next week,” said Andrade last Friday. He asked a priest to bless this bet at Pensacola’s ‘Blessing of the Floats’. 
Rep. Andrade says he’s ‘confident’ Three Mile Bridge will reopen by Memorial Day weekend
State Representative Alex Andrade tells Channel 3 News he is confident the 3-Mile Bridge will reopen by this weekend. “The 3-Mile Bridge will open by 10 am of Friday of next week,” said Andrade last Friday. He asked a priest to bless this bet at Pensacola’s ‘Blessing of the Floats’. 
The Charles: 192 luxury apartment homes to open this summer
The Charles will have 192 apartment homes, ranging from one to three bedrooms and 736 square feet to 1,412 square feet. Although the units will not be fully furnished, they will have large closets, patio/balcony, efficient appliances, ceiling fans, washer and dryer, wood-style flooring, designer light fixtures and Shaker-style cabinets, according to The Destin Log. The luxury apartment homes will rent for $1,522 to $2,602 a month, depending on the floor plan and size. 
The Charles: 192 luxury apartment homes to open this summer
The Charles will have 192 apartment homes, ranging from one to three bedrooms and 736 square feet to 1,412 square feet. Although the units will not be fully furnished, they will have large closets, patio/balcony, efficient appliances, ceiling fans, washer and dryer, wood-style flooring, designer light fixtures and Shaker-style cabinets, according to The Destin Log. The luxury apartment homes will rent for $1,522 to $2,602 a month, depending on the floor plan and size. 
Walton County code enforcement officers issue 80 citations for double-red flag violations
Eighty citations with the accompanying $500 fines have been issued to people caught in recent weeks on Walton County beaches violating double-red flag warnings and entering dangerous surf in the Gulf of Mexico. The $500 fine for entering the water when double-red flags are flying has been in place since February, when county commissioners enacted a number of changes to the county’s beach activities ordinance.
Walton County code enforcement officers issue 80 citations for double-red flag violations
Eighty citations with the accompanying $500 fines have been issued to people caught in recent weeks on Walton County beaches violating double-red flag warnings and entering dangerous surf in the Gulf of Mexico. The $500 fine for entering the water when double-red flags are flying has been in place since February, when county commissioners enacted a number of changes to the county’s beach activities ordinance.

Ok, that’s all I have for you this morning. Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Jared

p.s. What did you think of this morning’s newsletter? Hit the reply button and let me know!

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