Residents in the Florida Panhandle are bracing for another round of thunderstorms packing heavy rainfall due in by late Friday.
Originating in the Plains and the Midwest, the storms are due in northwest Florida and south Alabama on Friday, and will stick around for the weekend. Don Shepherd at the National Weather Service in Mobile says there’s a 30% chance of rain Friday, 50/50 that evening, and 60% on Saturday. The chance of showers Sunday is expected to be 40%.
Shepherd says the good news for the Pensacola area, is that the heaviest rain – up to seven inches -- will fall to the west – from Mobile back into Mississippi and Louisiana.
“With that said, we’re still looking at a 1-3 inch area coverage-type rainfall,” said Shepherd. “It’s not a lot, but based on the soil conditions after last week’s rain it won’t take as much to create some runoff problems and some flooding.”
More than that could fall in some isolated areas. The NWS issued a flash flood watch Wednesday, to go into effect from Friday through Sunday.
Brad Baker, Santa Rosa County’s Emergency Director, says they’re preparing for another possible round of nasty weather – including the resumption of making sandbags available for residents.
Baker suggested local residents prepare for the possibility of more severe weather by stocking up on sandbags, and shoring up any erosion-related damage.
“If they flooded the last time, they really need to really pay attention and start thinking about what they’re going to do,” Baker said. “Go ahead and leave early if they see the rain, especially a heavy rain.”
The City of Pensacola is preparing as well. Crews are checking for any damage to the storm water management system from last week.
Besides preparing for more potentially severe weather, Escambia County will launch Project Outreach on Friday. It’s a program that will use field teams to provide aid to the most heavily impacted areas. More information’s available at my-escambia.com/be-ready.
One of the unanswered questions since last week is: Will we ever dry out? Forecasters say lower rain chances continue into early next week, and then another front will move through on Tuesday and Wednesday.