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April 28, 2014

Severe weather system to enter state

Elevated rivers and additional rainfall represent increased risk of flooding

Live Oak —

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge those across North Florida to be prepared for severe weather as a storm system enters the region late Monday and lingers through Wednesday night. Frequent lightning strikes, high wind gusts, hail, tornadoes and flash flooding are possible. Rainfall totaling up to six inches is forecast, and a flash flood watch has been issued for the Florida Panhandle and Western Big Bend until Wednesday.

“The same system that produced severe weather in Arkansas will bring an increased risk for strong storms in North Florida,” said FDEM State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Local river levels are already elevated, so the potential for flooding is likely to increase. Motorists should be especially cautious during thunderstorms, and avoid driving through standing water or flooded roadways.”

If severe weather is forecast in your area, 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 your area, you should:

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown. If you see a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Take your 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 stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, Follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT, Instagram @FloridaSERT, Vine @FloridaSERT, Pinterest FloridaSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

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