Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie told FOX Weather about 15 Tornado Warnings were issued across the Florida Panhandle region on Tuesday morning.
Several injured in Bay County after ‘potentially catastrophic damage’
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Multiple Doppler radar-confirmed tornadoes caused damage in Walton and Bay counties, including in Panama City Beach. Photos and video show extensive damage to a street in Panama City Beach, with a home tilted about 15 degrees to one side.
Guthrie said there is "potentially catastrophic damage" in Bay County.
A Florida Panhandle marina was destroyed near Panama City Beach, and many boats were flipped during the storm.
Photos the Bay County Sheriff's Office shared show the crumpled business in the dark early Tuesday morning.
According to Guthrie, another condominium building in Bay County was also leveled by a twister. Florida emergency managers are still receiving calls about damage early Tuesday.
Guthrie confirmed five significant injuries in Bay County but no deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. Search and rescue efforts are still underway.
"We know that we got at least one condo, older-style condo, that's been completely ripped off of the roof from the second floor," Guthrie said.
Additionally, seven people were injured in an RV campground in Jackson County, according to Jackson County Public Information Officer Dylan Bass. He added that authorities did rescue an individual who was trapped in their home. This person sustained minor injuries.
No fatalities occurred in the campground, Bass noted.
Images of the tornado
When a tornado was spotted near Panama City around 7 a.m. local time, an active Tornado Warning was underway in Bay, Walton and Washington counties.
A weather watcher spotted the tornado below on Tuesday, crossing Interstate 10 near Marianna, Florida.
The suspected long-track tornado caused catastrophic damage at a Marianna trailer park before the sun rose on Tuesday.
Aerial video from Live Storm Media shows several trailers flipped or completely shredded by the powerful winds. Those winds ripped down power lines across the Florida Panhandle area, causing power outages.
Gusty winds and heavy rain pushed into Florida's capital of Tallahassee, causing power outages to increase.
The city shared a video of strong wind gusts outside Tallahassee City Hall.
How Florida is responding to the disaster
Florida officials say the severe weather forecast and prepared before the storms hit.
Due to the severe weather forecast, officials with the Florida Department of Education decided to close schools in more than 35 school districts throughout the state on Tuesday. More than a dozen colleges and universities in the Panhandle and North Florida closed Tuesday.
On Monday night, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard to prepare to respond to any storm damage. On Tuesday, he issued an executive order to include 49 counties under a state of emergency from the severe weather impacting the Sunshine State.
During the severe weather, the Escambia Bay Bridge in Pensacola was temporarily closed Tuesday morning. Multiple other bridges were closed on Tuesday, and other closures are possible.
Guthrie said Florida is home to many high bridges over waterways that the Florida Department of Transportation will close during high-wind events when gusts are over 45 mph.
The severe weather threat is not over in Florida. Throughout Tuesday, weather alerts for high winds and tornadoes are in effect for North and Central Florida.