Shalimar, FL Tornado, Oct 1973


Shalimar, Fla. -- Approximately $90,000 worth of damage was done to 24 mobile homes Wednesday as a mid-morning tornado spawned from heavy rains, touched down in the Shalimar Mobile Home Park on Eglin Parkway.
According to Bob Smith, the West Area Civil Defense Director, "Six mobile homes were totally destroyed, eight received moderate damage that will have to be repaired before they can be lived in, and 10 received only light damage."
Smith said that Eglin Air Force Base has made quarters available to all those who are left homeless and need shelter, whether military of civilian.
Two local women and one child received minor injuries and were taken to Elgin Hospital by ambulance. All three were reported treated and released.
Property owners worked until dark covering anything not destroyed, hoping to protect belongings from theft or further damage. The Ocean City Wright Fire Department and the Sheriff's Posse will maintain a vigil throughout the night to protect property from looters.
The area was roped off in late evening and rescue units reported "No further clean up efforts as such will be continued until morning." The main task facing workers Wednesday night was the clearing of streets.
Coordinating rescue efforts were local and area civil defense units. Other military and civilian fire fighting and rescue units involved were Ocean City Wright Fire Dept. and Ladies Auxilliary, Fort Walton Beach Fire Dept. and Rescue Unit, Salvation Army, Okaloosa County Sheriff's Dept., County Road Dept., Eglin AFB units, and local utility companies.
Scattered reports of wind damage were reported throughout the entire area and debris was scattered over several miles. GLEN MARLER, who resides on Third Ave. in Destin told the Playground News that a twister touched down in the back yard of his home and lifted the locked doors from his solid steel storage house, leaving the house itself intact. The twisted steel doors were recovered some 75 feet away, according to MARLER.
Some rather extensive damage was done to several businesses on Highway 98 althoughno injuries were reported. Glass was shattered and trees uprooted in several other areas.
In Fort Walton Beach some construction workers were diverted to assist city maintenance crews in cleaning up debris, the major portion of which was caused by six trees were blown down during the brief storm. City officials reported no serious damage to public property and said all roadways were open very soon after the storm.
Southeastern Telephone Company reported no major lines down and no telephone poles down in the area. The major damage, a spokesman said, was in lines from major cables to individual homes.
One extra crew was sent to the Shalimar area, which suffered 22 service interruptions.

Playground Daily News Fort Walton Beach Florida