Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge Florida's residents and visitors to remain aware this weekend and into next week, as two storm systems bring the potential for significant rainfall and flood risks to the Florida Panhandle. Some areas may see up to four inches of rainfall through Tuesday, with locally heavier amounts of up to eight inches possible. The National Weather Service has issued Flash Flood Watches for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties through Saturday.
"Two storm systems moving across the Southeast will bring heavy amounts of rainfall and widespread potential for flooding in the Florida Panhandle," said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. "Floridians should monitor these systems closely and take necessary precautions should a flood watch or warning be issued for their area. If you encounter a flooded roadway it is important to remember, Turn Around, Don't Drown."
In addition, river flooding is a concern for the Florida Panhandle. The Choctawhatchee River near Bruce and the Escambia River near Century are currently in minor flood stage. The Chipola River near Marianna and Altha and the Apalachicola River near Blounstown may also see elevated flooding potential with this system. Along with heavy rainfall, the storm systems bring a risk of severe thunderstorms and damaging wind gusts, and the Storm Prediction Center has placed a portion of the Florida Panhandle under a slight risk for severe storms for Friday.
To avoid getting caught in a flood, follow these safety rules:
To learn more about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, and follow FDEM on Twitter at @FLSERT and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/kidsgetaplan.