Operation Dark Cloud St. Marks

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

Operation Dark Cloud had law enforcement officers from across the panhandle scrambling to the scene. Just moments before the Doak Campbell exercise, emergency crews received a 9-1-1 call from St. Marks.

Another mock terrorism attack was underway emergency crews were put to the test Wednesday, with limited resources and the clock ticking.

It's a sight the city of St. Marks fears, smoke billowing from a million gallon oil tank and casualties scattered about the land. Luckily, this is not real, but it's still a serious situation.

"We have requested assistance from the city of Tallahassee- but they are tied up- we're learning how to cope with it,” says Joe Blanchard of Wakulla County Emergency Management.

It's a race against time and the terrorists have the upper hand. The event was designed to drain resources-by spreading out emergency crews across the Panhandle in the event of multiple terrorist attacks.

"We're working on EMS response, it's been over run by patients, Tallahassee is tied up in another incident,” comments Special Agent Mike Phillips.

Few resources wasn't the only problem, a second bomb was found, forcing the state bomb squad to act quickly.

Practice makes perfect and Phillips says this training will keep everyone sharp and ready for anything.

These simulated terrorism exercises are taking place across the state. The goal is to have every city in America prepared for a terrorism act.

Emergency officials say there are about 450 people living in St. Marks who would be in danger, and most would be evacuated using boats.


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