Officials assess Sunday's tornado damage

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OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sunday’s storm left a path of destruction and Monday Okaloosa County and the National Weather Service officials toured the storm's path assessing the tornado damage.

“By the time we stepped into the bathroom there, it was all over,” Michele Seitz.

In just a matter of moments, a tornado swept through Okaloosa Island,
tearing the roof off Michele and Bob Seitz's home.

“We first thought we just had one broken window upstairs but we came up and could see the sky,” she added.

From pieces of the roof to household items and even children’s toys, the house on Sailfish Drive is saw some of the worst of the storm, but the damage doesn't end there.

“We saw some more extensive tree damage at St. Mary’s School and Church where there were some busted windows. That was the most tree damage, and then at [Charlie Hills Terrance] apartment complex we’ve seen some roof damage as well.” Okaloosa County Director of Public Safety, Alvin Henderson said.

Officials said eight families have been displaced from the Charlie Hills Terrance complex, where several multi-family structures sustained damage. They say with the Red Cross' help, they hope to have those families in temporary housing by the end of the week.

By following the path of destruction, officials are able to learn more about the storm.

“Maximum winds we’ve seen are going to be about 100-105 mph, associated with the damage we’ve seen for the home that lost its roof on Okaloosa Island and that EF-1 is consistent as it crosses the sound into Fort Walton Beach," Warning Coordination Meteorologist with NWS, Jason Beaman explained.

“It’s just a matter form this point of following its path it will tell us the strength of it, did it gain or weaken at that point and how wide based off the swath of damage that was done,” Henderson added.

Forming over the Gulf of Mexico as a waterspout, officials said the damage suggests it an EF-1 tornado.

They say the next step will be to evaluate the data collected, work to repair the damage around town and find new ways to help warn the community when danger exists.

Officials said they have reports of two minor injuries.