STORM WATCH: Seven Northwest Florida counties under a Tornado Watch

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Under the watch until 3 a.m. Thursday are Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Escambia, Bay, Holmes and Washington counties.

staff reports

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for all of Okaloosa County and six other Northwest Florida counties until 3 a.m. Thursday.

Included in the Tornado Watch are Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties.

At 7:03 p.m. a strong thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near Destin to 8 miles southwest of Bratt moving north at 60 mph.

7:29 p.m.

WALTON COUNTY ROAD CLOSURES

NORTH WALTON

Natural Bridge Road: Closed due to water on the road.

Pen Williams Road: Closed due to water on the road.

SOUTH WALTON

Wall Street Beach Access: Closed due to erosion.

4:03 p.m.

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE

National Weather Service Mobile AL

1045 AM CDT Wed Jun 21 2017

…A WIND ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT ALONG COASTAL AREAS OF THE

WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE AND SOUTHWEST ALABAMA UNTIL 6 PM CDT

THURSDAY…

FLZ202-204-206-212345-

/O.CON.KMOB.WI.Y.0012.000000T0000Z-170622T2300Z/

Escambia Coastal-Santa Rosa Coastal-Okaloosa Coastal-

Including the cities of Beulah, Ensley, Fort Pickens, Pensacola,

Pensacola Beach, Perdido Bay, Bagdad, Gulf Breeze, Navarre,

Destin, Eglin AFB, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Seminole,

Valparaiso, and Wright

1045 AM CDT Wed Jun 21 2017

…WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CDT THURSDAY…

* WINDS…Southeast winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts around 35 mph.

* IMPACTS…These gusty winds could result in the downing of

large limbs, as well as blowing around loose lawn objects.

With the wet ground, a few trees could also be blown down.

Travel will also be difficult at times especially if traveling

on bridges and overpasses as well as east to west oriented

roadways.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 25 to 39 mph or frequent

gusts of 30 to 39 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make

driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use

extra caution.

Additional statements will be issued as conditions warrant.

4:02 p.m.

TORNADO WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WT 359

NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK

1000 AM CDT WED JUN 21 2017

TORNADO WATCH 359 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 700 PM CDT FOR THE

FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

FLC033-091-113-220000-

/O.NEW.KWNS.TO.A.0359.170621T1500Z-170622T0000Z/

FL

. FLORIDA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

ESCAMBIA OKALOOSA SANTA ROSA

$$

3:22 p.m.

We now have a list of road closures in Okaloosa County. To see the list, follow this link.

12:33 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As waves of heavy rain crosses the Panhandle and other parts of Florida, the Department of Financial Services reminds Floridians to remain prepared for severe weather. Floridians are encouraged to keep copies of their homeowners’ and auto insurance policies handy, and to take note of the state of Florida’s insurance consumer helpline in case of insurance-related questions. The helpline can be reached by calling 1-877-693-5236.

By calling the helpline, Floridians gain one-on-one access to insurance experts who can help consumers better understand their specific insurance policies and answer specific claim-related questions. Even if a consumer does not have a flood insurance policy, helpline experts can aid in the review of other insurance coverage to determine if any damaged items might be covered.

The helpline is available Monday–Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm EST. Additional insurance-related information can be found on the Department’s website at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/Storm/default.htm.

12:30 p.m.

The only road in Okaloosa County that is closed that we are aware of is Meigs Drive in Shalimar.

11:20 a.m.

Anchors Street, which was closed earlier due to flooding, has reopened.

All lanes of Eglin Parkway near Goofy Golf have also reopened. The road was closed earlier this morning due to downed power lines.

Meigs Drive in Shalimar remains closed.

11:07 a.m.

Santa Rosa County road and bridge closures due to flooding

With the steady rainfall the last 24 hours, already saturated ground and more rain forecasted due to Tropical Storm Cindy, some area roads and bridges are flooding and more are expected to flood during the next 48 hours.

Santa Rosa County road closures as of 10:15 a.m.:

The entrance into Gulf Islands National Seashore

Garcon Point Road at Mary Kitchens Road

Avenida de Sol between Nevada and Verdura

Mercado Street near Avenida de Sol

Munson Crossroads (Highway 4)

Deaton Bridge Road at the bridge

Pearson Road

Ortega Street at Shipton Road

Please abide by the barricades! Turn around, don’t drown!

Open with hazards (use extreme caution):

Oser Road

Martin Road

Cove Road

Munson Highway at Pittman Creek near Frank Hardy Road

Andrew Jackson at Floridatown

Whiting Field Circle at Marty Martin Way

Southbound Munson at Donald Jernigan open with hazards

Robinson Point Road at Waterview Drive

Munson Highway at Beagle Trail

Munson Highway ¼ mile south of Red Rock Road

West Spencer Field at Norris Road

Raughton Road at Dolphin

South Airport Road

Santa Rosa County Public Works is checking locations as they are reported and information is updated frequently at: www.santarosa.fl.gov/roads-transportation/closures.cfm?Menu=177 as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Report flooded roads to Santa Rosa County Public Works at (850) 626-0191 or submit a work order at www.santarosa.fl.gov/citizen-connect/WorkOrderForm.cfm.

Report property damage online here – https://goo.gl/4KAfNY or by calling (850) 983-5360

Additional information:

Santa Rosa County is under a tornado watch until 7 p.m.

Double red flags are flying again on Navarre Beach. The beach is closed to swimming.

Navarre Beach Pier is closed today and possibly tomorrow due to safety concerns.

Panhandle Butterfly House is closed for the remainder of the week.

All county offices are open today.

The county’s public works department has sand available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the following locations:

The corner of Citrus and Leisure Street in Holley by the Sea

Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze

Pace Fire-Rescue in Pace

The corner of Pine Forest Road and Carroll Road in Milton

Bring your own sandbags and shovel. Bags can be purchased for less than 50 cents a piece at Lowe’s or Hall’s Hardware. For more information on how to make and use sandbags, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (www.flash.org).

For more information on current weather events, visit www.weather.gov/mob. Sign up for local weather and other disaster alerts at www.alertsantarosa.com. For information on preparing for disasters, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency or pick up the latest disaster guide at any Santa Rosa County office and your local grocery store.

11:05 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As waves of heavy rain crosses the Panhandle and other parts of Florida, the Department of Financial Services reminds Floridians to remain prepared for severe weather. Floridians are encouraged to keep copies of their homeowners’ and auto insurance policies handy, and to take note of the state of Florida’s insurance consumer helpline in case of insurance-related questions. The helpline can be reached by calling 1-877-693-5236.

By calling the helpline, Floridians gain one-on-one access to insurance experts who can help consumers better understand their specific insurance policies and answer specific claim-related questions. Even if a consumer does not have a flood insurance policy, helpline experts can aid in the review of other insurance coverage to determine if any damaged items might be covered.

The helpline is available Monday–Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm EST. Additional insurance-related information can be found on the Department’s website at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/Storm/default.htm.

9:52 a.m.

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

——————–

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The Tropical Storm Warning is discontinued north and east of the

mouth of the Mississippi River, including Metropolitan New Orleans

and Lake Pontchartrain.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* San Luis Pass Texas to the mouth of the Mississippi River

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are

expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the

next 12 to 24 hours.

Interests elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the central Texas

coast to the western Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress

of this system.

For storm information specific to your area, including possible

inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your

local National Weather Service forecast office.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

——————————

At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Cindy was

located near latitude 27.6 North, longitude 92.6 West. Cindy is

moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this motion

is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north-northwest

and then toward the north is expected tonight and Thursday. On

the forecast track, the center of Cindy will approach the coast of

southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas late today or tonight, and

move inland over southeastern Texas or southwestern Louisiana on

Thursday.

Surface observations and reports from an Air Force Reserve

Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are

now near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in

strength is expected before landfall, with weakening

expected thereafter.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km)

mainly to the north and east of the center.

The minimum central pressure just reported by the Hurricane Hunter

aircraft is 996 mb (29.42 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

———————-

RAINFALL: Cindy is expected to produce total rain accumulations of

6 to 9 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over

southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and

western portions of the Florida Panhandle through Thursday. This

rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding in these areas.

Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 7

inches can be expected farther west across western Louisiana and

eastern Texas through Thursday. Rainfall should spread

northeastward across Arkansas and into portions of the Tennessee and

Ohio Valleys through Friday, with total rain accumulations of 3 to 5

inches with locally higher amounts possible.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions should spread westward and

northward through the Tropical Storm Warning area today through

Thursday.

STORM SURGE: Inundation of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is

expected along the coast in portions of the Tropical Storm Warning

area. Inundation of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is also possible

elsewhere along the coast from southeastern Louisiana to the western

Florida Panhandle in areas of strong onshore winds.

TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible today through tonight from

the western Florida Panhandle across southwest Alabama, southern

Mississippi, and southern Louisiana.

9:50 a.m.

…The flood warning continues for the following rivers in Alabama…Florida…

Fish River Near Silverhill affecting Baldwin County.

Perdido River Near Barrineau Park affecting Baldwin and Escambia Counties.

Styx River Near Elsanor affecting Baldwin County.

Big Coldwater Creek Near Milton affecting Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties.

.Recent heavy rains have caused significant rises along the river.

…Flood Warning extended until Sunday morning…The Flood Warning continues for

the Big Coldwater Creek Near Milton

* From this afternoon until Sunday morning.

* At 9 AM Wednesday the stage was 8.4 feet.

* No flooding is occurring and Moderate flooding is forecast.

* Flood stage is 10.0 feet.

* Forecast to rise above flood stage by this afternoon and continue to rise near

16.4 feet by early Friday morning.

* At 10.0 feet…Flooding of lowlands and some fish camps will occur as the

creek rises above 10 feet.

9:37 a.m.

The City of Fort Walton Beach has received numerous reports of downed trees and power lines.

The following roads are impassable at this time:

-Anchors St. from Mary Esther Cutoff to Blake Ave.

-Hughes St. from Eglin Pkwy. to Beal Pkwy.

Residents are advised to remain indoors and off the roads as much as possible today.


9:18 a.m.

Gulf Islands National Seashore officials have closed additional areas of the national seashore in Florida due to Tropical Storm Cindy.

Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Areas are closed to all visitor use and access. The Fort Pickens Campground is closed and has been evacuated.

Heavy rains, winds, and high waves and tides have heavily inundated the roadways through this area. This includes Fort Pickens Road and Hwy. 399 between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach.

9:09 a.m.

All bridges in the area are open.

9 a.m.

Wednesday night service canceled at Fort Walton Beach Church of Christ.

7:35 a.m.

City officials have announced that free sand bags and sand are available to Crestview residents at 201 Stillwell Blvd. under the cover of the amphitheater inside the Old Spanish Trail Park.

Residents are requested to bring their own shovel and manpower.

7:32 a.m.

Anchors Street in Fort Walton Beach is impassable from Blake Avenue to Boeing due to flooding, according to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department.

7:24 a.m.

Flood Watch

National Weather Service Mobile AL

458 AM CDT Wed Jun 21 2017

…SIGNIFICANT FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT…

.Recent wet ground conditions, elevated creek and stream flow

conditions and a landfalling Tropical Storm Cindy over the

northwest Gulf of Mexico will bring periods of very heavy to

torrential rainfall to the region tonight through late Thursday.

ALZ052-053-055-056-059-060-261>266-FLZ201>206-MSZ067-075-076-078-

079-211800-

/O.CON.KMOB.FF.A.0015.000000T0000Z-170623T0600Z/

/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/

Washington-Clarke-Monroe-Conecuh-Escambia-Covington-Mobile Inland-

Baldwin Inland-Mobile Central-Baldwin Central-Mobile Coastal-

Baldwin Coastal-Escambia Inland-Escambia Coastal-

Santa Rosa Inland-Santa Rosa Coastal-Okaloosa Inland-

Okaloosa Coastal-Wayne-Perry-Greene-Stone-George-

Including the cities of Chatom, Millry, Grove Hill, Jackson,

Thomasville, Homewood, Monroeville, Evergreen, Atmore, Brewton,

Flomaton, Andalusia, Opp, Citronelle, Saraland, Stockton, Mobile,

Prichard, Theodore, Bay Minette, Daphne, Fairhope, Foley,

Spanish Fort, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Grand Bay,

Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Century, Molino,

Walnut Hill, Beulah, Ensley, Fort Pickens, Pensacola,

Pensacola Beach, Perdido Bay, Jay, Milton, Bagdad, Gulf Breeze,

Navarre, Crestview, Destin, Eglin AFB, Fort Walton Beach,

Niceville, Seminole, Valparaiso, Wright, Waynesboro, Beaumont,

New Augusta, Richton, Leakesville, McLain, Wiggins, and Lucedale

458 AM CDT Wed Jun 21 2017

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE THURSDAY

NIGHT…

The Flash Flood Watch continues for

* Portions of Alabama, northwest Florida, and southeast

Mississippi, including the following areas, in Alabama,

Baldwin Central, Baldwin Coastal, Baldwin Inland, Clarke,

Conecuh, Covington, Escambia, Mobile Central, Mobile Coastal,

Mobile Inland, Monroe, and Washington. In northwest Florida,

Escambia Coastal, Escambia Inland, Okaloosa Coastal, Okaloosa

Inland, Santa Rosa Coastal, and Santa Rosa Inland. In

southeast Mississippi, George, Greene, Perry, Stone, and

Wayne.

* Through late Thursday night

* Life threatening flash flooding possible over portions of our

region as the rainshield from now Tropical Storm Cindy

provides for near continuous rainfall tonight, Wednesday and

possibly into late Thursday. Very heavy rainbands will set up

within Cindy`s rain shield, rotate onshore and then will act

to greatly increase the flash flood threat south of Highway 84

and closer to the coast, particularly coastal Alabama and

interior southeast Mississippi.

* Widespread rain totals of 5 to 10 inches with isolated 10 to

15 inch areas will be possible. Urban areas and smaller creeks

and streams will be the first to respond overnight and

tomorrow.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead

to flash flooding. This is a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action

should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

7:23 a.m.

COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL

604 AM CDT WED JUN 21 2017

…DANGEROUS CONDITIONS WILL IMPACT THE ALABAMA AND NORTHWEST

FLORIDA COAST THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…

FLZ202-204-206-211915-

/O.EXT.KMOB.CF.Y.0003.000000T0000Z-170623T0800Z/

/O.EXT.KMOB.SU.Y.0005.000000T0000Z-170623T1100Z/

/O.EXT.KMOB.RP.S.0018.000000T0000Z-170623T1100Z/

ESCAMBIA COASTAL-SANTA ROSA COASTAL-OKALOOSA COASTAL-

604 AM CDT WED JUN 21 2017

…COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM CDT FRIDAY…

…HIGH SURF ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM CDT FRIDAY…

…HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK NOW IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE THURSDAY

NIGHT…

* SURF HEIGHTS…6 TO 9 FEET…WITH A FEW BREAKER SETS UP TO 10

FEET THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…THEN SUBSIDING TO 5 TO 7 FEET

BY THURSDAY NIGHT.

* COASTAL FLOODING…1 TO 3 FEET OF WATER ABOVE NORMALLY DRY

GROUND CAN BE EXPECTED THROUGH THURSDAY ALONG LOW LYING AREAS

OF THE NORTHWEST FLORIDA PANHANDLE COAST…ESPECIALLY AROUND

TIMES OF HIGH TIDE WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY MORNING.

* COASTAL FLOOD IMPACTS…MINOR FLOODING IMPACTS ALONG COASTAL

AREAS…ESPECIALLY OVER LOCATIONS SUCH FORT PICKENS ROAD AND

OTHER LOW LYING AREAS.

* HIGH SURF AND RIP CURRENT IMPACTS…THE SURF WILL BE DANGEROUS

TO ALL SWIMMERS. FREQUENT LIFE THREATENING RIP CURRENTS ARE

EXPECTED. MINOR BEACH EROSION IS ALSO POSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN

THE ADVISORY AREA, PRODUCING LOCALIZED BEACH EROSION AND DANGEROUS

SWIMMING CONDITIONS.

THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS. RIP CURRENTS ARE LIFE-

THREATENING TO ANYONE ENTERING THE SURF. SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD.

IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT REMAIN CALM. DON`T FIGHT THE CURRENT.

SWIM IN A DIRECTION FOLLOWING THE SHORELINE. IF UNABLE TO ESCAPE,

FACE THE SHORE AND CALL OR WAVE FOR HELP. IF TIRED, FLOAT OR TREAD

WATER UNTIL OUT OF THE RIP CURRENT.

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES

WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.

7:22 a.m.

…COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM CDT FRIDAY…

…HIGH SURF ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM CDT FRIDAY…

…HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK NOW IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE THURSDAY

NIGHT…

* SURF HEIGHTS…6 TO 9 FEET…WITH A FEW BREAKER SETS UP TO 10

FEET THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…THEN SUBSIDING TO 5 TO 7 FEET

BY THURSDAY NIGHT.

* COASTAL FLOODING…1 TO 3 FEET OF WATER ABOVE NORMALLY DRY

GROUND CAN BE EXPECTED THROUGH THURSDAY ALONG LOW LYING AREAS

OF THE NORTHWEST FLORIDA PANHANDLE COAST…ESPECIALLY AROUND

TIMES OF HIGH TIDE WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY MORNING.

* COASTAL FLOOD IMPACTS…MINOR FLOODING IMPACTS ALONG COASTAL

AREAS…ESPECIALLY OVER LOCATIONS SUCH FORT PICKENS ROAD AND

OTHER LOW LYING AREAS.

* HIGH SURF AND RIP CURRENT IMPACTS…THE SURF WILL BE DANGEROUS

TO ALL SWIMMERS. FREQUENT LIFE THREATENING RIP CURRENTS ARE

EXPECTED. MINOR BEACH EROSION IS ALSO POSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN

THE ADVISORY AREA, PRODUCING LOCALIZED BEACH EROSION AND DANGEROUS

SWIMMING CONDITIONS.

THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS. RIP CURRENTS ARE LIFE-

THREATENING TO ANYONE ENTERING THE SURF. SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD.

IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT REMAIN CALM. DON`T FIGHT THE CURRENT.

SWIM IN A DIRECTION FOLLOWING THE SHORELINE. IF UNABLE TO ESCAPE,

FACE THE SHORE AND CALL OR WAVE FOR HELP. IF TIRED, FLOAT OR TREAD

WATER UNTIL OUT OF THE RIP CURRENT.

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES

WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.

7:15 a.m.

As of the 7 a.m. advisory Tropical Storm Cindy was about 265 miles south-southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, moving northwest at 8 mph. Winds remained at 60 mph and the central pressure had fallen to 996 mb.

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