TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott is urging Florida residents, visitors and businesses across the peninsula to prepare for severe weather, heavy rain and potential flooding as the National Weather Service monitors a developing tropical system that could impact the Gulf Coast as early as Monday morning.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is monitoring the tropical system, the office of Gov. Rick Scott said.
"We are closely monitoring this tropical system and its potential impacts on Florida's Gulf Coast," Scott said. "Our most important goal is protecting our families, visitors and communities, and we will take every action to make sure our state is prepared for this weather event. While Florida's emergency officials, first responders and National Guard stand ready to respond to any need, it is crucial that Floridians use every resource to make sure their homes and families are immediately and thoroughly prepared."
"Even if this system does not develop into a named storm, it still poses significant risks from flooding, damaging winds and tornadoes, and rip currents," FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon said. "This is expected to be a fast-moving storm, which means that it could mature very rapidly and very close, giving us little warning."
Officials said potential impacts include:
- Rainfall amounts through Wednesday could reach up to 5 inches across much of central and south Florida with isolated totals of 8-10 inches along the I-4 corridor.
- Severe thunderstorms are possible Sunday across north Florida. Additional severe weather is possible through Tuesday across portions of central and south Florida.
- Increased wave heights along the Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday and along the Atlantic Coast on Wednesday will elevate the risk of rip currents and minor coastal erosion.
If severe weather is forecast, officials said to 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 a flood is likely in the area, people should:
- Turn Around, Don't Drown: If you see a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Take time when traveling.
- 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 streams, drainage channels, canals and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with little or no warning.
The Atlantic hurricane season began Wednesday and runs to Nov. 30.