North Okaloosa Couple Dies From Ivan Related Mud Slide

A northwest Florida man and his wife missing since September 16 are confirmed as the latest two fatalities from Hurricane Ivan.

The body of James Watts of Laurel Hill in north Okaloosa County was found by haymakers near Franklin, North Carolina. The body of his wife Katie had been found several days earlier.

Officials say the couple fled their home in Okaloosa County to get away from a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan. They evacuated to North Carolina where Ivan's heavy rains triggered a massive mud slide. Tons of mud, water and debris tore through a valley trapping the couple.

Watts was a civilian employee at Eglin Air Force Base. His wife, Katie, 49, was active in helping those in need in their north Okaloosa community.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647 FCC Form 398
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