Closings, detours and advisories are the results of torrential rain that’s pelting northwest Florida – part of the system that is Tropical Storm Cindy.
A flash flood warning is in effect until 6:00 this evening; a tornado watch goes until 7:00 p.m.
“The band of heavy rain continues to come ashore; some of the heaviest rain is now shifting back. After moving to the east, is now moving back a little to the west,” said Jeff Huffman at the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN).
Cindy was stationary much of the day Tuesday, but is back on a lumbering track that would take its center toward southwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas by Wednesday evening.
“Since [Tuesday] evening, we’ve seen widespread rainfall totals of four to six inches across southern Escambia County,” said Jason Beaman at the National Weather Service in Mobile. “Santa Rosa [and]
Okaloosa Counties, six to eight inches. Going forward, we’ll see an additional four to eight inches, with locally higher amounts possible.”
Swimmers and visitors are being turned away from the Navarre Beach and the Pier there; Pensacola Beach, and Gulf Islands National Seashore. Numerous streets are either closed or are barely passable because of high water.
“Right now, we do have a handful of roads that are closed due to flooding, that we typically see during these types of situations,” said John Dosh, Escambia County’s Emergency Director.
“[County Road] 399, if you’re headed from Pensacola Beach to Navarre, that’s closed,” Dosh said. “We had a report this morning that Main Street [in Pensacola] from A [Street] to Barrancas was closed.”
The county’s Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the situation at Level-3, the lowest activation. Water is ponding in some low-lying areas, and retention ponds are approach full capacity. Rivers and creeks, says Dosh, are also up but appear to be holding up – for now.
“The big concern right now is that everything that we have is reaching capacity; the soils are very saturated,” said Dosh. “The drainage system itself is filled up, and is trying to drain as quickly as it can. But if we get a whole bunch rain [Wed] afternoon, especially if we get it all at once, it could be problematic for us.”
Residents along the Gulf Coast are advised to monitor weather conditions through the Weather Channel and local media, and be prepared to take the necessary action.