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Precaution points on Tropical Storm Debby

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From University of Florida Meteorologist Jeff Huffman

More detail at www.gatorweather.com

SIGNIFICANT AND WIDESPREAD FLOODING OCCURING NOW FROM T.S. DEBBY NEAR I-10 CORRIDOR

Axis of heaviest rain expected to shift south into N-Central Florida today and tonight.

Widespread flash flooding has occurred overnight in Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Duval, Hamilton, Nassau, Suwannee and Union counties.

  • Portions of I-10 are closed in Baker and Columbia counties.  US Hwy 90 is closed in Wellborn and Live Oak.
  • Evacuations have been ordered in Live Oak where water is waste deep in the downtown areas (according to Emergency Manager Sharon Hingson).
  • Hardest hit areas are in Wakulla and Liberty counties (further west) where the Sopchoppy River is at a record high stage of 35.2 feet near the Apalachicola National Forest.  Rainfall amounts in these areas have been in the 15 to 20 inch range, with nearly a foot of that falling only since yesterday afternoon!

Minor to moderate river floodingexpected across much of N-Central Florida through the end of the week.  The following projections will likely go up in the coming days:

  • Moderate flooding now forecast on Santa Fe River near Fort White (crest Saturday near 26 ft, or 2 ft above FS)
  • Minor flooding now forecast on Sawannee River near Flowlers Bluff (crest near flood stage of 5.5 ft on Thu)
  • Moderate flooding expected on the Sawanne River near White Springs (2 ft above FS on Thu)

Heavier rain still yet to come for Gainesville and surrounding areas as Debby’s center of circulation nears late Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Additional rainfall of 4 to 8 inches is very likely over the next 48 hours, bringing storm totals in our immediate viewing/listening area to the 12 to 18 inch range.
  • Tropical Storm Warnings continue for all Nature Coast counties until further notice.
  • A Flood Watch is in effect through Wednesday evening
  • A Wind Advisory is in effect through 8pm this evening for potential wind gusts to 40 mph.
  • Isolated tornadoes are still possible, and will become a greater concern should we see a little sunshine today and heat up (will need to re-assess this by mid-morning).

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