Southeastern Escambia County, along with Santa Rosa and Okaloosa, are back under a flash flood warning until 7:30 Thursday evening with more rain is falling on already-saturated grounds.
The warning also covers much of south Alabama, including that state’s Escambia County and southeastern Baldwin County. Brian Daly at the National Weather Service in Mobile says the culprit is a front approaching from Louisiana and Mississippi. It’s part of a larger system in the Midwest – and is expected to move through our area this evening.
“We’re looking at 1-3 inches generally, and 3-6 inches possible in some isolated locations,” said Daly. “We have some concerns about the rain that’s moving through, because of the (saturated) soil conditions ahead of it.”
The rain, according to the Weather Service, is expected to persist throughout most of Wednesday afternoon and could result in flooding in low-lying and/or poor drainage areas. After the front passes through, forecaster Daly says the region is in for a bit of a drying-out, with lower humidity and unseasonably cooler temperatures – lows in the upper 40s to low 50s.
Brad Baker, Director of Santa Rosa County Emergency Management, says they’ve had some reports of minor road flooding, and that they’re keeping their eyes open. With the start of hurricane season just around the corner – June 1st – Baker was asked if the torrential rains were a reminder to be prepared, or the last thing the area needed.
“I would say it’s a little of both,” Baker said. “Obviously, anytime we can fine tune our system and tweak any problems that we have with a – I hate to say ‘small disaster’ but relatively countywide the people who were impacted were not the same as we saw with (hurricanes) Ivan and with Dennis.”
Wind and waves are generating a high risk of rip currents at beaches from Escambia through Okaloosa. Yellow flags are up at Pensacola Beach, indicating rough surf. There’s a moderate risk of rip currents for the remainder of the Panhandle Beaches.