Storms Leave Some NWFL Residents In Dark

May 1, 2017

Credit noaa.gov

Scattered power outages, along with downed tree branches and other debris, were left behind when a storm front moved through northwest Florida late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

A cold front came through from the west on Sunday, bringing showers and thunderstorms;  some packing heavy rain and vivid lightning. Wind gusts of 40 miles per hour were reported at Pensacola International Airport.

“Behind that system, there was a little area of low pressure that sometimes develops on the back sides of systems that come there,” said Jack Cullen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile. “What that did was help increase the winds, and that’s where we got the gusty winds that caused most of the power outages.

The heaviest rain fell west of the Pensacola area, in southwest Alabama; but local totals were around one to two inches.

Fourteen thousand Gulf Power Company customers lost electricity at the height of the storms. As of midday, power had been restored to all but about 1,200. Spokesman Jeff Rogers says that work continues, with full restoration expected by early this evening.

Credit Gulf Power Company

“Line work, it’s transformers, it’ poles,” said Rogers. “We had a lot of line down. That electrical activity from the lightning does tend to impact transformers, so we have a lot of those on hand to be able to swap those out and get power back to people as soon as we can.”

After relative quiet on Tuesday, NWS forecaster Jack Cullen says another front is due in the following day.

“Starting Wednesday night into Thursday, there’s going to be some more potentially heavy rain coming through,” said Cullen. “Right now, it doesn’t look to be too severe, but [it’s] something to watch.”

As Gulf Power finishes up with its restoration work, spokesman Jeff Rogers says they’re also preparing for what may come on Wednesday.

“Mississippi Power, along with our crews from Fort Walton and Panama City have all mustered here to help us restore power,” Rogers said. “We are looking for the horizon for this week, and just knowing that we have the capacity to be able to restore people’s power.”

Rip current and small craft advisories remain in effect. The surf along the Panhandle is expected to remain high until early Tuesday afternoon at the least.

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