DESTIN — Walmart was evacuated and closed for about an hour because of a broken pipe in the store.
According to Destin Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Hutchinson, a broken refrigerant line in the deli section of the store prompted customers and employees to be evacuated about 7 p.m. Firefighters were dispatched to the store and Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies helped direct traffic.
Hutchinson said the store was able to reopen at 8 p.m.
Sheriff Office spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said the situation involved hazardous materials, but she did not know any details. Okaloosa County Public Information Officer Christopher Saul also did not know any details, but said he received a Nixle alert referencing a broken pipe and the evacuation.
Lisa McDonald Marcengill said she was trying to park at Walmart when she saw a crowd outside.
"Everyone was leaving in cars immediately," Marcengill said. "Just Walmart employees are outside and many police, firetrucks, first responses and police."
Authorities are asking people to avoid the area because of the traffic congestion. It is not clear when the store will reopen.