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Severe weather storm impacts Panhandle with reported tornados

January 9, 2024

A severe weather system tracked across the Southeast this morning, and it spawned reports of tornadoes and damaging wind gusts across Florida’s Panhandle. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, several unconfirmed tornadoes have been reported: one in Panama City, one in Walton County and another by the I-10 corridor near Marianna.

Wind gusts up to 60 mph were observed in the Panhandle. Rescue operations are underway for an RV park in Marianna that obtained substantial damage. No fatalities have been reported in Florida as of Monday afternoon.

In Panama City Beach, debris has filled the streets and damage to buildings and two boat docks can be seen.

Confirmation of how many tornadoes and their location will come from the National Weather Service in the coming days after on-scene surveys are conducted.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 87,246 Florida residents are without power, according to PowerOutage.us.

A tornado watch remains in effect for counties in North, Central and Southwest Florida until 9 p.m. If a tornado warning is issued in your area, take shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of the building immediately.

High-wind advisories remain in effect for the Panhandle and Big Bend region, and wind advisories are in effect statewide until this evening. Wind gusts as high as 40 to 50 mph are possible.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has asked residents to stay in their houses until the storm has passed to allow crew to assess damages in impacted areas.

The system will continue to move into the Southeast and mid-Atlantic where it will still be capable of producing tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail.

Check with local officials before exiting your home/shelter. Roads may be blocked with debris, so avoid roadways while response teams clear obstructions.

Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida State Guard Monday evening and advised residents to prepare for possible impacts. A state of emergency was issued for 49 counties.

Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Seminole, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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