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The original item was published from 9/14/2020 8:15:50 AM to 9/15/2020 8:48:19 PM.

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Posted on: September 13, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Tropical Storm Sally update #3

Tropical Storm Sally update #3
More rain predicted, significant flooding expected


Sept. 13, 6:45 p.m. 

  • The updated forecast track has shifted slightly east. An additional shift eastward cannot be ruled out.
  • The rainfall forecast has increased again.
  • This will likely be a prolonged event given the slow movement of the storm.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for coastal northwest Florida.
  • A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the western Florida panhandle through Thursday.
  • Tropical Storm Sally will continue to move west northwest through Monday, before turning north on Monday night into Tuesday.
  • Strengthening is forecast and the system is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday.
  • A hurricane is forecast to make landfall early Tuesday somewhere across southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi.
  • The system will slow significantly as it approaches the coast and this will likely be a prolonged event especially in regard to heavy rainfall, potential surge, and dangerous surf.
  • This has the potential to be an extensive rainfall and flooding event even with the storm making landfall to the west of the local area.
  • Be ready for short-fused changes to the track and intensity forecast.  
  • The next full update will be tomorrow (Monday) morning.

Tropical Storm Wind Speed Probabilities

  • Tropical storm force gusts (40-50 mph) are possible along the immediate coast of northwest Florida with rain bands moving in after 6 a.m. Monday possibly lasting into Tuesday morning.

Storm Surge Watch/Warning

  • Based on the latest track, storm surge values of one to three feet in northwest Florida. This level does NOT trigger any evacuations.
  • The highest water levels will likely be on Tuesday morning around the time of high tide.
  • Surf heights will build to 8 to 12 feet along all gulf beaches in the western Florida panhandle beginning late tonight.
  • Although no evacuations are anticipated at this time, you should ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ZONE. Visit Santa Rosa County’s Know Your Zone app for evacuation zone information. 

Forecast Storm Total Rainfall/Flooding Potential

  • TS Sally is predicted to be a dangerous rainfall/flooding event with significant flash flooding Tues.-Wed. and moderate to major river flooding Wed.-Thurs. Riverfront residents need to make preparations.
  • Coastal Santa Rosa County could see 10-15" of rain with the north end of the county seeing 6-8".
  • No bridges are closed nor are any bridges planned to be closed in advance. Bridges ONLY close when sustained tropical storm force winds are observed by officials. If one bridge closes, it does not mean all bridges will close.
  • Expect that roads which typically flood will flood. Turn around, don’t drown. It is not possible to determine if a flooded roadway is covering a potentially deadly washout.
  • Public works crews will be monitoring for flooding. Do not drive around or move any barricades.
  • View closed roads here.
  • Given the expected slow movement of the system, heavy rainfall appears likely and extensive flooding will be possible.
  • Heavy rain will begin along coastal areas on Monday, spreading inland by Monday night. The heaviest rain totals and greatest flooding potential will be Tuesday and Wednesday.

Potential Tornado Impacts

  • There is a threat of at least a few tornadoes Monday night through Wednesday.  

Board of County Commission Offices

  • Emergency Management staff are monitoring this situation throughout the evening.
  • All BOCC offices will open for normal hours on Mon.

COVID Testing

  • COVID testing at the Milton Community Center on Monday will be held as scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Tuesday testing at Tiger Point Community Center in Gulf Breeze will be determined tomorrow.

General Preparedness Information

  • Stay informed! Sign up for emergency alerts at www.AlertSantaRosa.com
  • Make sure you and your family have a plan for where you will go if evacuations are called for your home - and make sure your plan includes your pets. 
  • With the chance of tropical storm force winds, bring in or secure items which could blow away including lawn furniture, wind chimes, swings and bird feeders while it is not raining.
  • Sand for sandbags is on a first-come, first-serve basis at the following locations:- The corner of Leisure St. and Citrus Dr. in Navarre
    - Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze
    - Pace Fire-Rescue in Pace
    - The corner of Pine Forest Rd. and Carroll Rd. in Milton
    Any sand that is out will be replaced on Monday.

For current weather events, visit www.weather.gov/mob. For information on preparing for disasters, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency.


Santa Rosa County School District

  • Per the Santa Rosa County School District, all Santa Rosa County public schools will close for Mon., Sept. 14. Any decisions on Tues., Sept. 15 will be made later.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

  • Opal Beach will remain closed until further notice. 
  • Highway 399, J. Earle Bowden Way will close at 8 p.m. tonight (Sun.). 
  • Park staff will assess conditions once the weather passes and throughout the next few days and announce updates as appropriate.   

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