Pensacola flash flood watch extended through Friday as heavy rains forecast
Roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties remained open and passable on Thursday morning, but emergency management officials said they were monitoring conditions closely as further heavy rains are expected until the end of this week.
Escambia County Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore said no roads were flooded due to rain on Thursday morning, but water levels began to rise due to a lack of drainage in parts of the Forest Creek neighborhood. No houses had been flooded by 9.45 a.m.
“I have guys riding around looking for stuff, but nothing has reported a red flag yet except Forest Creek,” said Gilmore. “If the water keeps rising in the back of the Forest Creek apartments, it’s going to be a mess there.”
Heavy rain :Flash flood warning issued for Escambia County as heavy rains are expected to continue
Santa Rosa County emergency management operations chief Tom Lloyd said Thursday that, based on the forecast, problem areas could arise south of I-10.
“Further towards the coast that’s where we see some pretty heavy precipitation. But it’s all dissipating,” Lloyd said. “But if something happens again, the National Weather Service will point everything south, toward the I-10 corridor. More towards Escambia, really. ”
Santa Rosa County officials are also monitoring river gauges for any river-type flooding, Lloyd said.
“Obviously our current threat is the threat of aerial flooding,” he said. “And we’re just keeping an eye on. We’ve got sand at our normal sand spots. And we’re just encouraging people not to drive in standing water. That’s the big deal.”
Flash flood monitoring extended until Friday
Southern parts of Escambia County had already received 5 to 10 inches of rain until Thursday morning, with an additional 3 to 6 inches expected through Friday night as what is now post-tropical Cyclone Nicholas meanders over the central coast of Louisiana.
The National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, has extended flash flood monitoring for both counties until Friday evening, warning flooding is possible until the weekend. The watch was previously scheduled to expire Thursday evening.
The NWS warned residents should prepare for several rounds of heavy rains until the end of the week. Since the ground is already saturated with rain in many areas, additional precipitation could lead to significant flash floods.
The NWS said on social media that meteorologists are increasingly concerned about another round of heavy rain on Friday and potentially throughout the weekend.
Several rivers in the area are expected to reach minor flood levels as the rain continues, including Big Coldwater Creek near Milton and the Perdido River near Barrineau Park on the Alabama-Florida border.
There is also a high risk of reverse currents on the beach on Thursday, which is expected to be reduced to moderate risk by Friday and Saturday.
On Thursday morning, 9.21 inches of rain was recorded at Perdido Key over the past 24 to 36 hours, according to preliminary rainfall reports from Mobile’s NWS.
Other areas of Pensacola recorded lower totals between about 3 and 5 inches. In that same window, Johnson Beach had 5.3 inches of rain, Myrtle Grove 4.81 inches, NAS Pensacola 4.75 inches, and Pensacola International Airport 4.55 inches.
Where to get sandbags
The counties of Escambia and Santa Rosa offer sand to the inhabitants of the flood zones. Sand is available on a first come, first served basis.
- Baars Field Athletic Park, 13001 Sorrento Road, Pensacola
- Brent Athletic Park, 4711 N. W St., Pensacola
- Don Sutton Park, 2320 Crabtree Church Road, Molino
- Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola
- Escambia County Roads Department, 601 Highway 297-A, Pensacola
- Ferry Pass Middle School, 8355 Yancey Lane, Pensacola, (the sand will be at the northwest corner of the school property on Parazine Street)
- John R. Jones Jr. Sports Park, 555 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola
- Travis M. Nelson Park, 4541 County Road 4, Pensacola
Santa Rosa County
- Corner of rue des Loisirs and promenade Citrus in Navarre
- Tiger Point Park at Gulf Breeze
- Rhythm fire-rescue in rhythm
- Corner of Pine Forest Rd. And Carroll Rd. in Milton