Rain is in the forecast for today and Friday. An area of low pressure is still expected to be stalled the rest of the week just to the west of our area while a stationary front lies across the area, according to Okaloosa Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox.
“Deep moisture will be drawn northward into our area and the pattern will become favorable for the development of numerous to widespread showers and thunderstorms that will be capable of producing heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding,” he said in an email brief.
When and where: Showers and storms will increase in coverage late this week. Some storms will be capable of producing heavy rainfall – especially near the coast Thursday afternoon into Thursday night and across all of our area during the day Friday. Greatest flood potential will be on Friday.
Potential impacts: Repeated rounds of showers and storms capable of producing torrential downpours over saturated soils may result in localized flash flooding late this week, especially going into Friday.
“The developing weather pattern gives us reasonable confidence that locally heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding concerns will be possible late this week,” wrote Maddox in his email. “Confidence in heavy rainfall is currently highest on Friday.”
This 67-foot sailboat caught fire and is now an artificial reef in Destin-Fort Walton Beach
It’s time for another artificial reef off the coast of Destin-Fort Walton Beach. This time, it is a 67-foot steel hulled sailboat.
The vessel is called the CORDONAZO and it, unfortunately, suffered a major fire that resulted in it being condemned. As a result, it was then donated to Okaloosa County to be deployed as an artificial reef.
The CORDONAZO was built in 1958 in Germany and was later found derelict in the Bahamas in the early 90s. The late owner bought the vessel where it eventually made its way to Pensacola, according to the Okaloosa County Coastal Resource Team.
“We gladly accepted the vessel and it’s been in the process of being cleaned and prepared to be an artificial reef,” explained Alex Fogg, Okaloosa Coastal Resource Manager. “Because of its age, we had to run some extra tests to make sure that the paint and other components that were still on the vessel would not cause issues for the environment, particularly PCBs.”
According to Fogg, due to the date the vessel was built and its relatively unknown past, they took extra steps to make sure it was properly cleaned.
“Usually, before the 1970s is when you really have to pay attention,” he added. “This vessel was built in the 1950s and while it has gone through a bunch of retrofits, we don’t want to deploy something that will hurt the environment.”
Fogg says the tests came back as a non-issue and Morgan Marine Salvage & Recovery in Freeport, FL. has since been prepping the boat for deployment.
Much of the above-deck cabin structure was fiberglass which had to be removed per permit requirements. To add additional structural complexity as an artificial reef, Morgan Marine welded chicken transport units (coops) to the deck.
The vessel was deployed on Wednesday within the Okaloosa County Large Area Artificial Reef Site (LAARS) C permitted area approximately ~14.8nm SSW of Destin’s East Pass at a depth of 113ft.
“This will be the start of Boatyard West,” said Fogg. “We have Boatyard East, which has the MISS JOANNE, the sailing vessel DYLAN, and the motor vessel BRANNON in a tight concentration. This will be the start of a new three-vessel site over to the west in the Large Area Artificial Reef Site.”
To increase stability, two additional vessels will be deployed in the coming months at the same location and they will be secured to each other.
“Back in 2020, we deployed our first donated vessel, which was the sailing vessel DYLAN,” said Fogg. “Since then, we’ve set a precedent for receiving donated vessels, cleaning them, and getting them deployed. It’s a huge cost savings to the county which allows us to do a lot more with the artificial reef budget that we have to create fishing and diving for locals, as well as the visitors.”
The coordinates for the CORDONAZO are 30° 08.346’N, 86° 33.882’W.
Okaloosa woman wins $2.3 million from a scratch-off ticket sold in Shalimar
On Friday, September 2, 2022, the Florida Lottery announced that Gloria Johnson, of Shalimar, claimed a top prize from the $2,500 A WEEK FOR LIFEScratch-Off game at the Lottery’s Pensacola District Office.
She chose to receive her winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $2,330,000.00.
According to the Florida Lottery, Johnson purchased her winning ticket from Raceway, located at 1183 North Eglin Parkway in Shalimar. The retailer will receive a $4,000 bonus commission for selling the winning Scratch-Off ticket.
Gov. DeSantis announces Toll Relief proposal, includes Mid-Bay Bridge
On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his legislative proposal to provide discounts on tolls for frequent commuters using any toll roads across the state.
Under this proposal, Floridians who use toll transponders like SunPass and E-PASS and have 40 or more transactions a month would receive a 50 percent credit on their monthly bill.
This proposal would benefit approximately 750,000 Floridians who frequently commute and would save the average commuter around $550 a year.
Unlike last month’s short-term SunPass Savings program, the Mid-Bay Bridge and Spence Parkway are included in this new proposal.
“Last month I announced a short-term SunPass Savings program for Florida commuters, but I promised that we would continue to look for more ways to save Floridians money on their daily commute,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This proposal will require legislative approval and is more far-reaching – it provides a 50% discount on all tolls throughout the state of Florida, saving the average commuter $550 per year.”
If passed, this proposal would apply to all toll roads across the state and would begin on July 1, 2023, and run through June 30, 2024. This new program will give customers with at least 40 paid transactions a month a 50 percent credit on their tolls between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024.
DUI Checkpoint results from Labor Day Weekend
The Fort Walton Beach Police Department conducted a multiagency safety checkpoint with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office & Florida Highway Patrol for the “Drive Sober” initiative that runs through Labor Day weekend.
During the checkpoint, multiple DUI drivers were removed from the roadway along with trafficking amounts of narcotics, according to a release from the FWBPD.
Here is a breakdown:
512 vehicle contacts
71 traffic citations (including warnings)
49 traffic stops
8 DUI arrests
1 weapon violation
1 felony fraudulent vehicle registration
Trafficking amounts of fentanyl & marijuana recovered
A few things to do around town
September 9, 2022 – CONCERTS AT THE LANDING: Unfortunate Sons – Free – View
September 9, 2022 – Mike Vallely and The Complete Disaster at Downtown Music Hall – View
September 9, 2022 – Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar – LIVE MUSIC: Hi Tide Band – – View
September 10, 2022 – 2nd Annual Colors of Service Event – View
September 10, 2022 – 2022 Emerald Coast Holistic Health Expo – View
September 10, 2022 – Impressionist Florals with Jeanette Herron – $75.00 – View
September 10, 2022 – Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar – LIVE MUSIC: Robbie Paynter – View
September 10, 2022 – “THE BIG SCOOP” by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida @ ECHD – View
September 10, 2022 – Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar – LIVE MUSIC: Flash Flood – – View
September 10, 2022 – MKAF Fall Flix: The Wizard of Oz – – View
September 11, 2022 – Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar – LIVE MUSIC: James Renshaw DUO – View
September 13, 2022 – Friends Guild to Host an Afternoon with Local Musician Bo Adams September 13th – View
September 14, 2022 – C.A.R.E.ing for Turtles – $10 – View
September 15, 2022 – Jen Boaz & Mercedes Rodgers Featured Artist Show @ Maxine Orange Studio Gallery – Free – View
September 15, 2022 – Sinfonia Cabaret at Seagar’s: An Evening with Jeremy Jordan – View
September 15, 2022 – The Stoked Comedy Hypnosis Show Starring Terry Stokes – View
September 16, 2022 – CONCERTS AT THE LANDING: Duchess – View
September 17, 2022 – 9th Annual Soldiers on the Water Event – View
September 17, 2022 – International Coastal Cleanup – Free – View
September 17, 2022 – MKAF Fall Flix: Ratatouille – View
September 20, 2022 – Halloween Build-A-Wreath with Chrissy @ Twisted Grape! – $25 – View
September 21, 2022 – C.A.R.E.ing for Turtles – $10 – View
Watch this helicopter land at Crab Island
On Friday, September 2, 2022, a Bell 505 Jet Ranger helicopter from Team Black Diamond approached Crab Island around 12pm.
Spectators got a unique opportunity to watch the ‘One Carat’ chopper make its landing onto a floating helipad that arrived at Crab Island with the rest of the team, including the impressive Abigail yacht.
In my 36 years living here, I’ve never seen or heard of this happening before.