Walton County Hurricane Preps

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Once Jimmy Neighbors and his son Nolen heard about Hurricane Ivan headed our way, they began what has become all too familiar.

"Well, we're putting up boarding on the windows, plywood to protect it from any flying debris from the storm."

County officials wasted no time in stressing the seriousness of this storm by declaring a local state of emergency. Schools will close Tuesday through Thursday and evacuations will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday for south Walton, low lying areas and RV parks.

Authorities say they can't force anyone to leave, but staying means they'll be on their own. Emergency services will leave the area until it is safe. Water may also be cut off in several areas.

In the last two days, the Destin Home Depot has sold 28 trucks of plywood. All that's left now are empty shelves and a line waiting for more, which means good luck in getting some here, but everyone's hoping for the best and whether you're planning, sawing, screwing, or even singing, it’s all part of surviving Ivan.

Walton County beaches will close Tuesday. Freeport High School will open as shelter Tuesday morning.