State and local emergency management officials are urging residents and visitors to stay alert for severe weather and changing conditions as a strong cold front moves across the state today. A Tornado Watch and urban flood warnings are in effect for South Florida while most rivers in the Panhandle and Big Bend regions remain near or in flood stage.
“This is a very vigorous storm system and residents need to stay on alert for severe weather going into this busy weekend. Make sure to turn your Weather Alert Radio on and be prepared to act if conditions warrant.” said Meteorologist Amy Godsey.
A Tornado Watch is in effect until 1pm EST for Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.
In the northern half of the state, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties through noon on Friday. An additional 1 to 2 inches of rainfall is forecast to occur statewide over the next 24 hours which would likely cause additional flooding concerns due to saturated soil conditions.
“With numerous flood watches and warning posted, it is important for travelers to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ and remain safe by observing any road closures”, added Godsey.
River Flood Warnings also remain in effect across the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. Impacts will be similar to what occurred earlier this year during the March and April floods.
Area rivers at risk of flooding are: the Apalachicola River, Aucilla River, Blackwater River, Choctawhatchee River, Escambia River, Perdido River, Shoal River and Yellow River.
The State Watch Office in Tallahassee continues to monitor conditions with Meteorology and Operations staff and to assist with any requests from county emergency management partners.
For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: www.KidsGetAPlan.com. And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT .