CRESTVIEW — With the worst of Tuesday's thunderstorms behind them, many North Okaloosa residents are picking up debris and resuming normal routines.
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A breach in the east dam may have drained most of Lake Fred in the Grandview Heights neighborhood, but it offered Selina Walker an opportunity to teach her son Tommy, 8, some life lessons.
"All these things are fixable things," she said. "I've been teaching young Thomas we need to be compassionate toward people who have it a lot worse than this."
David Stanley, who is caregiver for his elderly mother, Lois G. Stanley, spent the night at the Crestview Community Center, which served as an American Red Cross shelter.
He and Lois Stanley were the last of 10 evacuees, shelter manager Larry Woolley said.
With county schools closed, administration members checked for damage Wednesday. With fellow staffers, incoming Crestview High School Principal Dexter Day walked the hallways with a mop bucket, removed damaged ceiling tiles and mopped up puddles.
Assessing and repairing
Utilities workers joined county and municipal public works crews in scurrying from site to site, assessing and repairing damage throughout the north county.
On Oak Hill Road, swollen Davis Mill Creek washed out half the roadway. Water gushing down the north side of the hill formed waterfalls as it plunged over the broken roadway, dropping five feet or more into the creek.
Resident Angela Humbert, walking barefoot down the road, said she feared damage like Wednesday morning's was inevitable.
"I put in a petition to have this road fixed last year," she said. "They're not going to do anything about it. All the money goes to the south end of the county."
Near the former Shoal River Golf Club, dams collapsed, releasing pond water to make its way into the already high river.
"You learn how powerful water is," Selina Walker said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writers Brian Hughes and Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com. Follow them on Twitter @cnbBrian and @cnbMatthew.