Gallery: Hurricane Opal's 25th anniversary

Northwest Florida Daily News

It’s been 25 years since Hurricane Opal made landfall along the Florida Panhandle as a Category 3 storm packing top sustained winds of 115 mph. The storm wreaked havoc along Northwest Florida and coastal Alabama, and was the first major hurricane to strike the area since Hurricane Eloise in 1975.

Hurricane Opal scoured the docks around AJ's Seafood and Oyster House in Destin. DESTIN LOG

Since then the Panhandle has experienced several hurricanes. In 2004 Hurricane Ivan hit near Pensacola and it was followed less than a year later by the Category 3 Hurricane Dennis in July 2005.

A house sits in Santa Rosa Sound after it was washed from its foundation during Hurricane Opal.

More recently the area has witnessed the catastrophic damage visited upon Panama City when Hurricane Michael hit in October 2018. And just last month  the Category 2 Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, but its wrath was felt well into the Panhandle.

U.S. Highway 98 between Fort Walton Beach and Destin is flooded following Hurricane Opal in October 1995.

Given all the hurricanes and tropical storms that have hit the area in the last 25 years, it can be easy to forget about Opal. Here’s a visual tour of some of the damage caused by that storm 25 years ago today.

Bill Butler walks down a sand-covered Gulf Shores Drive on Holiday Isle after checking on his residence in the aftermath of Hurricane Opal. DAILY NEWS/DAVID LEE HARTLAGE