Severe Weather
7:39 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Flood Waters, Warnings, & Closures

Update 4/30/14 4:20 p.m.

Public schools in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties will remain closed on Thursday, May 1. School officials say more time is needed to evaluate flood damage to some schools and the condition of roads and bridges to ensure safe transport of students.

The University of West Florida will open on Thursday.  A revised final exam schedule and additional details are available at uwf.im/weather2014.  The John C. Pace Library reopens today at 6 p.m. for students' use.

Pensacola State College final exams will continue as scheduled Thursday, May 1, and Friday, May 2. Exams that had been scheduled for Wednesday, April 30 have been rescheduled for Monday, May 5.

Northwest Florida State College has canceled classes and activities on Thursday, May 1. Also, all administrative offices will be closed.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY
Escambia County was placed under a local state of emergency as a response to the severe weather front that has impacted the County.

Escambia County Emergency Management is asking people not to drive to allow county road crews and engineers time to complete a safety check of roads and bridges due to flooding. Also, storm debris can pose another serious safety threat to drivers.

Escambia County offices/services closure update: (Newest info in bold)

  • ECAT Bus Service will remain closed on Thursday
  • Escambia Tax Collector Offices-The deadline for paying property taxes has been extended one day until tomorrow (Thursday). Payment can be made on line or drop box.
  • Clerk of Court Offices-All courts expected to reopen for business on Thursday, May 1.
  • Pensacola Christian Academy-Classes resume Thursday.
  • NAS Pensacola is expected to resume normal operations tomorrow, Thursday, May 1.
  • Closed as of Wednesday:
  • Supervisor of Elections
  • Escambia Health Department
  • Episcopal Day School
  • Escambia County Board of County Commissioners (only essential employees are required to report for work)
  • The Escambia County Property Appraiser’s Office
  • ECUA has issued a boil water notice for customers.

Nearly a dozen roads are closed as a result of flooding. Mobile Highway at Bayou Marcus is closed as a result of a damaged bridge. The east end of Johnson Avenue is closed due to a lost bridge. Highway 297A is closed at Eleven Mile Creek due to a lost bridge.

Escambia County’s Public Safety, Roads Division and Public Works Department will be working to repair roads to allow for safe travel.

Residents in Escambia County that need non-emergency assistance can call the Citizens Information Center at 850-471-6600.

For all the latest information on severe weather impacting Escambia County, residents are encouraged to sign up for alerts on MyEscambia.com and follow us @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

According to the National Weather Service in Mobile, Santa Rosa County received an estimated 17 inches of rain in the last 30 hours.

Do not remove road barricades on closed roads or bridges.  Even after the water has receded, public works crews must complete safety inspections.

Damage Assessments

  • Residents with flood damage can report damage online including submitting photos at http://santarosa.fl.gov/EmergencyNEW/WebDamage.cfm or by calling (850) 983-5360.
  • If you have already begun repairs, be sure to take photos of the damage and keep all receipts for any repairs you make. Make sure the date is clearly visible on all receipts.

Rivers

  • A flash flood warning has been issued for Big Coldwater Creek. The river is at minor flood stage of 10 feet and is expected to crest at 11 feet.
  • Residents living in the lower portion of Pond Creek should monitor the water levels in their area, including water levels on the roads leading to their home. Remember conditions can change very quickly and impassable roads may prevent any necessary evacuations.
  • The Blackwater and Yellow Rivers are not currently forecast to reach flood stage.

Santa Rosa County Actions

  •  There were 94 emergency 9-1-1 calls from 8:30 p.m. April 29 to 8:30 a.m. April 30.
  •  Sand bags are being given out from the county road & bridge department located at 6075 Old Bagdad Hwy in Milton.
  •  The Florida National Guard is sending four high wheeled vehicles to help assist with rescues in flooded areas.
  • Dangerous road conditions can be reported to the Santa Rosa County Road and Bridge Department at (850) 626-0191.
  • County staff will begin to assess damages and make repairs as soon as it is light and safe to do so.
  • The declaration of local state of emergency was signed at 10 p.m., April 29. A declaration will allow the county to implement protective actions if needed.Office Closures
    • www.santarosa.fl.gov or follow us on Twitter at @SRCBOCC
    • Please monitor your home weather radio and local media outlets for the most up-to-date information.
    • Your best defense in any disaster is a NOAA Weather radio.
    • Citizens can signup to automatically receive breaking news alerts from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management via e-mail or as a text message on their cell phone at:  www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency/publicwarning.html.

All county offices will be closed Wednesday, April 30. Essential employees are to report to work.

  • Courts in Santa Rosa County are expected to open for business on Thursday, May 1.
  •  Judge Goodman's trial will resume at 9am on Thursday, May 1st.  Jurors should plan to report at 9am. Individuals who have hearings not included in the aforementioned may contact their attorney or the Clerk of Court for rescheduling information. 
  • NAS Whiting Field will resume operations May 1
  • ​Santa Rosa County Health Department will be closed Wednesday, April 30.
  • Santa Rosa Sheriff non-essential personnel are not expected to work Wednesday, April 30. Law enforcement officers are to report to duty.
  • Allied Waste / Republic Services will not be running Wednesday. All customers will be serviced one day later than scheduled. In the City of Breeze, yard waste will be collected on Saturday and we will run as scheduled Thursday and Friday.
  • Midway Water System has issued a precautionary boil water notice for the 5800 block of East Bay Boulevard. 850-932-5188

Santa Rosa Closed Roads & Bridges

The following major roads are open with hazards:

•  U.S. Hwy.  90 from Chumuckla Hwy to East Milton

·   Road block at Avalon Blvd.

·         Road and bridge closures:

  •  S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard) just south of U.S. Hwy.  90
  • U.S. Hwy. 98 intermittently. Closed intersections include:
  • Ortega Street in Navarre
  • Panhandle Trail in Navarre
  • SR-87 in Navarre
  • The west end of East Bay Boulevard near Cedar Street in Navarre. The detour for those east of Cedar is BergrenRoad.
  • Deaton Bridge on Deaton Bridge Road
  • Thousand Oaks in Pace
  • Fronterra Street
  • Broad Street, between Berry Hill Road and Madison Street in Milton.  The detour is Conecuh Street.
  • Venetian Way in the Gulf Breeze area is close at 2640 between Gondolier Blvd and Coronado Dr.
  • Da Lisa Road is closed from Woodville Road to Audiss Road
  •  Richardson Street in Milton
  • Holley Club Road in Navarre
  • Sherwood Dive at Codell Street in Holley By The Sea is closed due to damage.  The detour will be around the block.
  • Significant road flooding is being reported in the areas of:
  •  Woodbine Road and U.S. Hwy. 90
  • Avalon Blvd. north of Commerce Road and U.S. Hwy. 90
  • Added to the road closure list

    ·         Indian Ford Road

    ·         Sherwood Drive at Codell Street

    ·         Bryant Bridge Road

    ·         Red Rock Road

  • County-wide road flooding on smaller streets continues, and in some areas will take some time to recede. Standing water creates a serious road hazard including road damage that may not be visible. Additionally, the wake from passing cars can cause the homes on the street greater flooding. Please use care/find alternative routes to flooded road ways. 
  • Multiple stranded vehicles have been reported on these road ways with no injuries.  Please avoid these areas and/or stay off the roads if possible. According to the National Weather Service, more deaths occur due to flooding each year than from any other thunderstorm or hurricane related hazard. Many of these casualties are a result of careless or unsuspecting motorists who attempt to navigate flooded roads. When coming to a flooded roadway to “Turn around… don’t drown!”

Storm Injuries/Rescues

One person was transported and released from Gulf Breeze Hospital after getting caught in the water from the flooding.

Six campers stranded at the KOA Campgrounds, 8700 Gulf Pines Drive in Milton. They are being transported to the Milton Community Center Shelter.

Residents on Ranchette Square, Larker Woods, Green Brier and Gueseman in south Santa Rosa were rescued via Zodiacs by Midway Fire District.

Damage

Numerous houses reporting flooding county-wide, no estimates are available at this time

House fire in the 3900 block of Wiley Penton in Pace 

House fire on 7200 Bayshore Drive in Waterview Estates

Septic Tanks

Water drainage and sewer pumping systems have been overwhelmed.  Whether you are on septic tank or sewer system, please avoid flushing toilets until the situation improves.

If your septic tank has been flooded, it is likely that your toilets will not flush. Flushing may cause the untreated sewage to back-up into your home.

It is safest to wait until the water recedes before trying to flush toilets.

Depending on the amount of flooding or damage to your system, you may need to have a professional repair or servicing once the water recedes and the ground is less saturated.

General Safety Information

www.santarosa.fl.gov or follow us on Twitter at @SRCBOCC

Please monitor your home weather radio and local media outlets for the most up-to-date information.

Your best defense in any disaster is a NOAA Weather radio.

Citizens can signup to automatically receive breaking news alerts from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management via e-mail or as a text message on their cell phone at:  www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency/publicwarning.html.

OKALOOSA COUNTY: 

Okaloosa County has declared a local state of emergency. 

Due to the emergency repairs associated with the inclement weather, Okaloosa Water & Sewer reports water service has been interrupted and a "Precautionary Boil Water Notice" has been issued for some customers in the Mid County service area.

Two shelters are open. The Community Center in Crestview is open, as well as Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach.

Okaloosa County public schools will be closed Thursday, May 1.

All bridges in Okaloosa County are open.

Okaloosa County has sustained substantial damage on its roads and infrastructure. The county received 5 to 13 inches of rain and approximately 20 inches over, for the season prior to hurricane season. During the last 24-hour period, the county has fielded 672, emergency 911 calls, 128 calls for service, 44 medical emergencies, 10 submerged vehicles and 84 fire related calls.

GULF COAST AREA

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has two boats, staffed by four officers who are making medical rescues and helping pull stranded citizens to safety.

The Florida National Guard is sending "high wheeled vehicles" to help assist with rescues in flooded areas.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT TRANSPORTATION:

Chipley – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is providing an update on road and bridge closures and restrictions in Northwest Florida due to heavy rainfall. All rail, airport, transit and seaport facilities are functioning as normal.

Escambia County

·         Westbound I-10 ramp to southbound I-110 is closed.

·         Northbound I-110 at mile marker (MM) 6 is restricted.

·         Scenic Highway (U.S. 90) 150 feet north of Baywalk Circle is closed.

·         Scenic Highway (U.S. 90) south of Scenic Highway Circle is closed.

·         U.S. 90 at Nine Mile Creek Bridge is closed.

·         U.S. 90 at Eight Mile Creek Bridge is closed.

·         U.S. 90 1/2 mile west of I-10 restricted.

·         S.R. 727 (Fairfield Drive) is closed.

·         Southbound U.S. 29 to westbound I-10 is restricted.

·         U.S. 98 (Lilian Highway) at Joaquin Road is restricted.

·         I-10 at MM 5 is restricted.

Okaloosa County

·         Brooks Bridge (U.S. 98) at Airport Road is restricted.

·         U.S. 98 from Cody Avenue to one mile west is closed.

Santa Rosa County

·         S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard) just south of U.S. 90 is closed.

Walton County

·         S.R. 81 north of S.R. 20 is closed.

·         U.S. 98 from U.S. 331 to S.R. 393 is closed.

FDOT has opened a call center to assist motorists in Northwest Florida toll-free at (888) 638-0250 extension 1199 or dial direct at (850) 330-1199. 

Motorists are reminded to be watchful of other drivers and road conditions and to be on the lookout for flooded roads. If the road ahead is flooded, turn around and find an alternate route. Flooded roads may hide the fact that the roadway is washed out underneath and as little as six inches of rushing water can force your car off the road.

For the latest closures and updates from the Florida Department of Transportation District Three follow us on twitter at @myfdot_nwfl or visit FL511.com.