"It just exploded," said Dustin Lynn, who watched a building under construction get torn apart on Beal Parkway. "I've never seen so much power like that.
Gulf Power officials said the majority of the outages were reported in Okaloosa County. More than 7,000 were without power around noon. That number had dropped to 5,000 by mid afternoon. All were expected to have power again by midnight.
Residents Saucony Birmingham were convinced the high winds had to be the result of a tornado, but the storm was not extraordinary, according to meteorologist Jeffrey Medlin.
"There's been a lot of damage. We're seeing a lot of broken poles, a lot of downed lines," said spokeswoman Natalie Smith. "There's lightning from the storm and that just prolongs the restoration time."
and structure," he Reebok Question Mid Yellow
"Man can't build anything Mother Nature can't just break apart."
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Emergency crews were out in force as calls poured in about downed lines, stoplight outages and debris in the road, said Ken Wolfe, who oversees Emergency Management in Okaloosa County.
late morning thunder storm ripped off roofs, shattered windows, downed trees and knocked out power lines as it roared across the Panhandle Friday.
The storm formed in Pensacola Bay and gained strength in the Fort Walton Beach area. Downdraft winds produced a phenomenon known to weathermen as a macroburst, but no tornados touched down, Medlin said.
Storm leaves heavy damage in its wake PHOTOS
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