Today, Governor Rick Scott provided an update on storm response efforts before traveling to Pensacola to meet with local leaders, assess damage, and provide support for recovery operations.
Governor Scott said, “Early this morning I issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency for 26 counties to facilitate the rapid response of state and local agencies in supporting families impacted by heavy rains. Our message to Floridians is this: Please pay attention to your local weather. These types of storms can spawn tornadoes and other quick-moving inclement weather. Also – stay away from high water. Do not try to cross high water. It can be extremely dangerous. Again, all state resources are standing ready to support local officials in the impacted areas and I plan to travel to the Panhandle later today to get a briefing from first responders on the ground.
“This is a slow moving weather system that will continue east through our state, and families should take precautions to secure essential supplies should they lose power or can’t use the roads. Families should listen to their local leaders and follow their instructions. We’re continuing to work with local leaders on the ground to give them the support they need to keep families safe and get them back on their feet.”
Over the night, families in the Western Panhandle were inundated by rain. There are reports of 22 inches of rain impacting some communities.
Governor Scott said, “To support our local leaders, early this morning I instructed the National Guard to deploy 24 high-water vehicles to the impacted counties to assist with rescue and recovery operations.”
The Fish and Wildlife Commission is also deploying 31 vehicles and 13 boats to assist. State officials are monitoring the flash-floods affects on area rivers.The Department of Transportation and Florida Highway Patrol are working together to monitor road conditions and keep families off unsafe roads. According to Gulf Electric more than 28,000 families are out of power. There are three shelters open in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa with over 80 people.