Torrential rain from Tropical Storm Cindy continues to soak the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama.
Some areas could see as much as ten inches of rain or more, but there could be some light at the end of the tunnel.
“Thursday is going to more partly sunny, very humid, very breezy with some squalls moving through,” said Meteorologist Jeff Huffman with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. But he adds that Cindy’s calling card is still out there for now.
“I’m still concerned about the heavy downpours causing some flash flooding during those times of squalls,” said Huffman. “Also of concern is (sic) the tornado risks, especially if you get any type of heating in between the rounds of heavy rain.”
After meandering in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, Cindy began moving towards the Louisiana-Texas border Wednesday night. Jason Beaman is at the National Weather Service in Mobile says four to six inches of rain have fell in the western Panhandle from Tuesday night to midday on Wednesday.
“Santa Rosa-Okaloosa Counties, 6-8 inches. Going forward, we’ll see an additional 4-8 inches, with locally higher amounts possible,” said Beaman.
The heavy rain and severe weather have led to a number of closings in the area, such as Navarre and Pensacola Beaches; and Gulf Islands National Seashore. Numerous streets were either closed or their access limited 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 also had a report that Main Street [in Pensacola] from A [Street] to Barrancas was closed.”
The Emergency Operations Center has been monitoring the situation at Level-3, their lowest activation. Water has been ponding in some low-lying areas, and retention ponds are said to be either at, or approaching, full capacity. Rivers and creeks, says Dosh, are also up but appear to be holding their own for now.
“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, especially if we get it all at once, it could be problematic for us.”
Residents need to stay alert, monitor weather conditions through the Weather Channel and local media, and be prepared to take the necessary actions.