Jackson and Washington counties have declared a local state of emergency. This comes after a week of flooding throughout the panhandle. Monday both counties received 3-4 inches of rain and Friday's rain hasn't helped. Blue Lake in Washington County is one area of major concern, it sits right next to State Road 77 and now crews are working around the clock to keep levels down.
Two weeks ago the Florida Department of Transportation put a pump into action to prepare for this weeks rain event. Now the single pump just isn't enough, Friday another 8 inch pump is in place to help lower the water. By declaring a local state of emergency, counties can easily access equipment like barricades, sandbags and man power. Across Washington County 10 roads are closed and 31 roads are reported passable only with extreme caution.
According to Spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation, Ian Satter, that is something all drivers are encouraged to use when driving Friday night and Saturday, "If you see standing water on the roads, turn around and find another route. Even people in the big trucks as they come to these bodies of water, on the roadway, you can spin out of control. You don't know how deep that water is or how fast its moving. Our advice is turn around and find another route."
The pumps will continue running 24/7 until Blue Lake goes down. Abel says the Red Cross is standing by in Washington County should anyone need their assistance.