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Minimal impact from Karen expected in Panhandle

October 5, 2013
Associated Press

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Tropical Storm Karen's impact on the Florida Panhandle is expected to be minimal, but officials are warning residents and visitors to prepare for emergencies and beware rough surf.

Officials said Saturday that no evacuations were ordered, though shelters and emergency responders were on standby.

An update from the Escambia County Division of Emergency Management said that expectations for Karen's impact were "reduced from 'minor' to 'minimal.'"

Bay County Chief of Emergency Services Mark Bowen said Karen's forward progress had slowed, and the storm's winds and rains probably would not be felt in northwest Florida until Sunday afternoon or evening.

Okaloosa County officials said none of its three airports would close.

Rough surf seems to be the biggest threat along Panhandle beaches, where red flags warn swimmers about dangerous rip currents.



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