Escambia County Emergency Operations

  

Speeding north-northwest through the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Nate is expected to make landfall late [Saturday] evening. Preparations are underway in northwest Florida for come what may.

Packing 90 mile an hour winds, Nate is moving toward land at a breakneck 26 miles an hour.

“The [National] Hurricane center is tracking it right into the coastline tonight, and then probably by late evening coming ashore along the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Meteorologist Jeff Huffman with F-PREN – the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

theadvocate.org

After Hurricane Irma slammed into south Florida last month, local governments across the Southeast rushed in people and equipment to begin the rebuild. Among them was a team from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in northwest Florida.

Irma was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma that same year.

FPREN

  

Governor Rick Scott was in Pensacola Thursday morning for a briefing and to update the media on Tropical Storm Nate. "Based on current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, we expect the storm to continue its northward track as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend" said Scott after he emerged from the briefing surrounded by local officials at the Escambia County Emergency Operations center. "The storm has the potential to become a hurricane and impact the Florida Panhandle this weekend and families must be ready."

National Hurricane Center

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.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

With less than a month before the kickoff to Hurricane Season 2017, the annual exercise to prepare for such an event was held Wednesday morning at the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center.

The “war room” was filled with representatives from various government agencies, along with other organizations charged with helping out in the event of a disaster. The man in charge? Escambia Public Safety Director Mike Weaver.

Hurricane Matthew has strengthened once again to a Category-4 storm as it barrels toward Florida’s heavily populated east coast. Help is on the way from a number of areas, including northwest Florida.  

  The autumnal equinox arrived at 9:21 Central time on Thursday morning. But as we go from summer to fall, another season still has about ten more weeks to run. 

We remain in what’s considered the peak of the 2016 hurricane season in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Gerry Bell at the National Hurricane Center says moving into fall has zero effect.

“There’s really no relationship at all,” said Bell. “The peak of the hurricane season is August, September and October, so it’s a broad peak and the equinox just happens to coincide in September.”

Photo courtesy of Escambia County Emergency Management

The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane is underway. The six month period officially runs from June 1 – November 30. Local and state governments have been working hard to prepare, just last month participating in the annual statewide hurricane season exercise involving response to the fictionalized Category-4 Hurricane Kimo.

Locally, Escambia County took part in the drill.  John Dosh is the county’s Emergency Management Director and he spoke with Sandra Averhart about the exercise, the county’s general readiness, and his message to residents as hurricane season begins.

Dave Dunwoody

Hurricane season kicks off June 1st and Escambia County joined Florida’s other 66 counties in conducting a dress rehearsal.

Here’s the scenario: Hurricane Kimo, a Category-4 storm, has made landfall in Florida. A Cat-4 packs winds from 130-156 miles an hour which, along with storm surge and tornadoes, can do a lot of damage in a short period of time.

“One of the things that we do not do as well as I think we need to do is the late response and early recovery stuff. And that’s what we’re focusing our energy on today,” said Escambia Emergency Director John Dosh.  

Courtesy of National Weather Service Mobile

Forecasters say strong storms are on tap across the South through Friday. Dangerous rip currents are also in the mix.

Instead of going out like a lamb, March will ride out on potentially severe weather with tornadoes and heavy rain possible in the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama.

“We have a very large upper trough approaching from the west,” said Eric Esbensen, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Mobile. “For the remainder of the week, rain chances will increase significantly, starting on Thursday.”

Photo courtesy of NorthEscambia.com

With a little help from their friends, Century residents hit by Monday’s severe storm are beginning to pick up the pieces. An investigation is also underway.

Up to 50 homes and businesses were either damaged or outright destroyed by the winds, which is believed to have been a tornado that touched down in a wooded neighborhood near U.S. 29.

Dosh says commercial and not-for-profit organizations are out working to complete damage assessments, as are the county, Town of Century and various agencies.

NBC.com

Torrential rain – more than 20 inches in some places -- fell on the Pensacola area at the end of April. Both residents and officials scrambled to assess the damage, as we hear in this year-ender report from WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody.

Gov. Rick Scott came to town and declared a state of emergency in 26 counties – including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton – eastward to Alachua County. 

Accuweather.com

Officials in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties joined the rest of the Florida Panhandle in late January, in bracing for a rare taste of winter precipitation.

A winter storm warning was put into effect for the western Florida Panhandle, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico joined forces with a major blast of Arctic air. Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service, said that would mean sleet, freezing rain and possibly some snow.

NOAA

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is officially in the books, ending up with below average activity. But officials are reminding coastal residents not to let down their guard.

After numerous predictions had already been made, including from William Gray and his team at Colorado State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weighed in. It predicted 8-13 named storms; 3-6 hurricanes and of those, 1-2 major storms.

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%.

Carol Myers

Residents in the Florida Panhandle are assessing the damage from Tuesday’s storms. Action is underway on the local and state levels to deal with more than 20 inches of rainfall in some areas.

Photo via Flickr//Louis

Forecasters say 30 tornadoes were reported overnight in seven states, resulting in at least 17 deaths in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Northwest Florida and south Alabama will catch the southernmost end of that weather system.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma says the weather system will continue moving eastward over the next few days, bringing powerful storms and the potential for tornadoes to parts of the Midwest and Southeast.

Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana are facing the greatest risk today, but a number of storms are also likely for this area.

bereadyescambia.com

Escambia County Emergency Director John Dosh is a busy man these days, with the 2014 hurricane season just around the corner.

While an assistant was attending last week’s national hurricane conference in Orlando, Dosh was in St. Augustine for a meeting on funding local homeland security programs in fiscal year 2015. He says it’s not known yet just how much money will come to Florida and to Escambia County, other than to say that the latter is expected to be in six figures.

Winter precipitation is moving into the Florida Panhandle, the produce of frigid arctic air and Gulf moisture.

Escambia County’s Emergency Operations Center activated at midnight. Emergency Management Chief John Dosh says they’re at level-2, with only key agencies on hand for now.  

Throughout the year the Escambia EOC conducts table-top exercises to cover a number of scenarios – hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters. Dosh says those – and the current winter storm development – are all part of what he calls “consequence management.”

weather.aol.com

Officials in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties join the rest of the Florida Panhandle in bracing for a rare taste of winter precipitation.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the western Florida Panhandle for all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico joins forces with another blast of Arctic air. That, says Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service, means sleet, freezing rain and possibly some snow.

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