Rick Scott: Floridians Prepare For Five to Ten Inches of Rain From Tropical Storm
By Allison Nielsen, Sunshine State News // August 31, 2016
(SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – The clock is ticking as Floridians prepare for a tropical storm which threatens to dump heavy rains and strong winds on the Big Bend and Gulf Coast areas later this week.
Tropical Depression Nine, which is slowly growing in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to become a tropical storm later Tuesday and will make landfall on Florida by Thursday. The next named storm on the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season list is Hermine.
The State Emergency Operations Center elevated the storm’s status to Level Two in preparation Tuesday morning. The National Hurricane Center has warned Floridians of the storm’s potential to produce widespread coastal and inland flooding, storm surge and gusty winds along the Florida Gulf Coast.
Last week, the National Hurricane Center warned Floridians there was a 70 percent chance of tropical storm system Invest 99L turning into a tropical cyclone into this week.
Rip currents could also result from the storm along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches, with the threat extending into the weekend.
The storm is fighting a wind shear, but is still planned to strengthen.
Meteorologists anticipate inches of rain falling from Wednesday evening to Thursday.
State officials warned of heavy rainfalls and flooding as the storm moves into the state, and urged Floridians to stock up on supplies and prepare for the worst.
“Whether this is your first tropical storm or you’re a seasoned veteran of past hurricanes, you need to take this storm seriously and be prepared for the very real threats it could produce,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management director Bryan Koon.
“Make sure your disaster supply kit is fully stocked and you have a safety plan for yourself, your family and for your workplace or business.”
Gov. Rick Scott appeared in Tampa Tuesday evening to discuss the storm’s progression and advise Florida families on the storm, warning of five to 10 inches of rainfall and potential tornados.
“Floridians should always remember to never drive on flooded roadways, seek shelter in the event of severe weather and always have a plan in place to keep your family safe,” he said.
Scott has also warned of the dangers of standing water, which are particularly problematic due to the Zika virus, which has invaded Florida in recent months. Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mosquitos, which lay their eggs in and around standing water.
Scott said standing water must be dumped to combat and prevent more Zika virus infections.
Scott will hold a press conference at 5 p.m. in Tampa to discuss developments of the storm.