TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today is reminding Florida residents, visitors and businesses to remain vigilant and be prepared for possible severe weather, heavy rain, and flooding from a tropical depression developing in the Gulf of Mexico.
At 11:00 A.M. EDT Sunday, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee elevated its activation status to Level 2 as the state prepares for possible impacts from the tropical depression.
Governor Scott said, “As we continue to closely monitor this tropical depression, Floridians should remain vigilant and have an emergency plan for their families and businesses in place today. The level two activation at the State Emergency Operations Center will help state and local emergency management officials work together to ensure our state is ready to respond to any impacts of this weather event.”
FDEM Director, Bryan W. Koon said, “As the tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico approaches the state, county emergency management officials are enacting their protective actions in accordance with their local plans. We are activating to Level 2 and engaging the State Emergency Response Team to assist our local partners in fulfilling any protective action measures or life-safety needs they may have.”
Located in Tallahassee, the SEOC is the operational and logistical coordination headquarters for the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). The SEOC has three activation levels, with Level 1 being the highest:
Level 3: Normal daily active monitoring
Level 2: Activation of mission-specific emergency support and planning functions
Level 1: Full activation of all emergency support functions
Potential impacts include:
- Rainfall amounts through Wednesday could reach up to 5 inches across much of the Florida Peninsula, with isolated totals of eight to ten inches near and north of the I-4 corridor. Potentially heavy rainfall throughout the state could result in urban flooding for both coastal and inland regions.
- Coastal flooding may occur along much of the Gulf Coast from Franklin to Monroe Counties.
- Severe thunderstorms are possible across North Florida today. Additional severe weather is possible through Monday across portions of North and Central Florida.
- Increased wave heights along the Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday and along the Atlantic Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday will elevate the risk of rip currents and minor coastal erosion.
If severe weather is forecast in your area, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
- Ensure your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio is on and programmed for your area or stay tuned to a trusted local media outlet for the most current weather situation. Ensure your disaster supply kit is prepared and heed all instructions from local officials.
- Know what you would do in the event of a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch or warning. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately in an interior room, away from windows.
- NEVER drive through flooded roadways as road beds may be washed out under flood waters, and just one foot of fast-moving flood water can move most cars off the road.
- If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning and should seek shelter.
If flooding is likely in your area, you should:
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown. If you see a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Take your time when travelling.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canals and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with little or no warning.