Lakes are being opened to decrease water volume
The Walton County Sheriff’s Emergency Management and Public Safety Division has implemented a boom priority plan along the Walton County coastline to help protect the unique coastal dune lake system. This includes closing the coastal dune lakes sometime in the near future.
Currently these lakes are being opened to decrease the volume. This is in addition to the plan made by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the U.S. Coast Guard, and BP Inc.
Walton County is in the process of identifying the availability of booms used to help protect the shoreline. The booms help minimize possible affect the oil may have on coastal Walton County. In a conference call this afternoon, DEP officials assured affected county Emergency Operations Centers that they have booms staged in Pensacola and Panama City. The booms are being deployed at a rate of approximately 19,000 feet per day. The weather has slowed boom deployment in the last 24 hours.
At this time, it is unknown when the Walton County area will be affected. It is predicted that Florida is at least 72-hours from being impacted. Environmental factors can still change the projected time frame based on wind and steering currents.