Flooding crisis in Florida: forced evacuations as tropical downpour devastates the area
Pensacola, Florida]---A tropical downpour in Florida over the weekend, left devastating floods in most of the Panhandle area.
Pensacola was reportedly blanketed with a record 13 inches of rain on Saturday, while Mobile was flooded with approximately 5.79 inches. Fearing the worst for Sunday, residents were relieved when the storm abated and left only 1.92 inches and 2.79 in Pensacola and Mobile respectively.
According to ABC News on Monday morning, a tornado also accompanied the storm, dumping torrents of rain while uprooting trees. Along with the heavy flooding, power-lines were knocked over, plunging many homes and a local jail into total darkness in Escambia County.
Over 100 residents had to be evacuated to shelters on Saturday night and generators were brought in for the jail, which was also left under more than 5 feet of water in addition to the power outage. Water had to be pumped out of the jail's ground floor on Sunday and the the entire power source for the buildings were reportedly damaged by the flood waters. Extra security had to be brought in to help secure the facilites during the black out.
The local Sheriff's office suffered widespead flooding, with cars almost totally submerged in water in the parking lot. Damages may reportedly run as much as $3 to $4 million for the Sheriff's facilities alone.
The city of Gulf Breeze experienced some damages to about 40 homes, as 4 inches of water was left behind from the storm.
Thankfully, no deaths have been reported but 3 people were hospitalized after being caught in torrential floods in Santa Rosa County.
Some homes were also destroyed in Southern Alabama. An overall assessment cost of damages has not yet been estimated as the clean-up is still underway.
According to weather reports, more rain is expected along the coast on Monday.