Potential Tropical Cyclone Three Update #2 - Heavy rains, dangerous rip currents expected
June 18, 12 p.m. - Santa Rosa County Emergency Management officials continue to closely monitor Potential Tropical Cyclone Three. Residents are reminded to
follow the National Weather Service
and local media outlets for the most recent weather updates. Storm information as forecasted by the National Weather Service:
- The system has become better organized and a tropical storm is expected to form later today or tonight prior to landfall in southeast Louisiana.
- A tropical storm warning has been issued for coastal areas of Santa Rosa County. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm-force winds are expected somewhere within this area within the next 36 hours.
- A wind advisory is in effect for inland Santa Rosa County from 10 p.m. tonight until 1 a.m. Sunday.
- Expect sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph gusting up to 35 mph over the region, particularly over southeastern Mississippi into far southwestern Alabama, with 10 to 20 mph gusting to 30 mph elsewhere this evening through Saturday.
- Bands of moderate to heavy rainfall may begin to move into the area as early as Friday afternoon and persist through Saturday night. This very heavy rain could lead to flooding, especially where bands of rain repeatedly move over the same areas. Rainfall totals of four to eight inches, with locally higher amounts in excess of 12 inches, will be possible across the area. A flash flood watch is in effect through late Saturday night.
- A high risk of rip currents remains in effect through early next week.
- Dangerously large breaking waves of seven to 11 feet are expected in the surf zone through late Sunday night. A high surf warning therefore remains in effect. Minor beach erosion is also possible.
- Storm surge of one to three feet above normally dry ground is possible along the coast of the western Florida panhandle. Flooding of low lying and flood prone areas along the immediate coast is possible. A coastal flood advisory is in effect tonight through early Sunday morning for the entire coast.
- A few brief tornadoes are possible late tonight through Saturday.
Santa Rosa County:
- Santa Rosa County Emergency Operations Center is currently at a Level 3 (monitoring) status.
- The citizen information line is open, 850-983-INFO (4636).
- There are no evacuation orders and no shelters open at this time in Santa Rosa County.
- Navarre Beach lifeguards are flying double red flags at Navarre Beach. The water is closed to the public due to high surf and the presence of dangerous rip currents.
- Sand is available at the following locations (must bring sand bags and shovel):
- The corner of Citrus and Leisure streets in Navarre
- Tiger Point Community Center, 1370 Tiger Park Ln. in Midway/Gulf Breeze
- Pace Fire Rescue, 4773 Pace Patriot Blvd. in Pace
- The corner of Carroll and Pine Forest Road in Milton
- East Milton Park, 8605 Bobby Brown Road
- Chumuckla Park, 2355 Hwy. 182, near the ball field
- Residents must provide their own sandbags and shovel. Bags can be purchased at many local hardware stores. For information on how to make and use sandbags, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.
- Heavy rain may quickly flood low-lying areas including roads and bridges.
- Standing water creates a serious road hazard, even when only a portion of the roadway is flooded. Turn around, don't drown!
- Dangerous road conditions can be reported to (850) 983-5372.
- County road and bridge closures are posted online.
- Florida road closures are available at www.fl511.com or a free phone call to 511.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
- In the event that residents experience a power outage, they are asked to not call 9-1-1 to report power outages. Power outages should be reported to Gulf Power at 1-800-GU-Power (1-800-487-6937) or Escambia River Cooperative, Inc. at 1-877-OUT-EREC (1-877-688-3732).
Steps Residents Should Take Now
Gulf Islands National Seashore will close beginning June 18, due to the tropical storm approaching the Northwest Florida area. Closed areas include the Fort Pickens Area, Santa Rosa Area, Perdido Key Area and Okaloosa Area in Florida, and the Davis Bayou Area and barrier islands in Mississippi. J. Earle Bowden Way, Highway 399 will remain open. Please be cautious of water and sand on the roadway.
A mandatory evacuation of the Fort Pickens Campground and Davis Bayou Campground began June 18, with all campers and staff expected to leave by 1 p.m. All campground reservations will be postponed or cancelled through Sunday, June 20.
The severe weather is anticipated to cause flooding of roads and campgrounds, dangerous surf conditions, and overwash. High winds and heavy rain fall in combination with high tide can push sand onto roads, making it unsafe for travel.
Park staff will continue to assess conditions throughout the weekend and will reevaluate all park areas Sunday, June 20 for reopening conditions and announce updates as appropriate.
For more information, follow the parks social media accounts and website. www.nps.gov.
For current weather events, visit www.weather.gov/mob. For information on preparing for disasters, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency or pick up a disaster guide at Santa Rosa County Emergency Management, 4499 Pine Forest Rd. in Milton.
- Visit Santa Rosa County's Know Your Zone for evacuation zone information. Santa Rosa County recently updated the evacuation zone map as part of a statewide evacuation zone study through Florida Department of Emergency Management.
- Sign up for emergency alerts at www.AlertSantaRosa.com.
- Review your disaster plan and make sure it includes your pets.
- Check your disaster supply kit and replenish necessary items.
- With the chance of tropical storm force wind gusts, bring in or secure items which could blow away including lawn furniture, wind chimes, swings and bird feeders.
# # #