Florida Residents Urged to Use Caution as Tropical System Brings Potential for Heavy Rain and Flooding
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Division of Emergency Management urges residents and visitors in Central and South Florida to stay alert and use caution on area roadways as a storm system in the Gulf of Mexico brings the potential threat for heavy rainfall through early next week.
“Abundant tropical moisture moving into the state may bring thunderstorms to much of Central and South Florida over the next several days and high rainfall totals could lead to flooding concerns,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “It is important that all Floridians heed warnings from the National Weather Service and local officials, and remember to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ when approaching a flooded roadway.”
Periods of heavy rains are expected through next Tuesday with projected rainfall totals of three to seven inches across a widespread area over the next five days. Higher amounts may be experienced locally and could cause flooding concerns, especially in urban and low-lying areas. In addition, gusty winds and lightning strikes will be possible with any thunderstorms that develop. Residents should monitor forecasts and be alert for possible flooding conditions.
Florida flooding facts:
Flooding is one of Florida’s most frequent hazards.
In 2009, flooding events caused approximately $87.5 million in damage in Florida.
All three types of floods can occur in Florida:
Areal floods occur with prolonged rainfall over several days, intense rainfall over a short period of time, or a river or stream overflows and floods the surrounding area. Areal floods are the most common type of flood and can cause considerable damage in urban areas.
A flash flood occurs within six hours of a rain event, or following a sudden release of water held by a dam or levee.
River flooding can be forecasted, but still can cause extensive damage.
To avoid getting caught in a flood, follow these safety rules:
NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio is one of the best ways to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio or your favorite news source for vital weather-related information.
If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canals, ditches, etc.
Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways.
Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and continues through November 30. To GET A PLAN!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. For the latest information on the 2012 Hurricane Season, follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.
CONTACT: Jessica Sims, 850-487-2430, Jessica.Sims@em.myflorida.com