Above average precipitation in the last few months may leave the Panhandle more vulnerable this hurricane season

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – This has been the wettest summer season since 2018 and Hurricane Michael, and it’s not over yet.

Heading into the month of September, the majority of the Florida Panhandle is ranging far about average on the precipitation scale.

Most places picked up about one to three inches of rainfall Wednesday, with flooding noted in many of the suspect areas. Local meteorologist, Grace Thornton, said overnight Wednesday into Thursday, additional rainfall will only make things worse.

“The Panhandle has been impacted by three tropical events so far this season and the peak of the tropical season doesn’t even start until a few days from now,” Thornton said. “So, it’s possible that the rainfall and the flood risk may not stop.”

Now, with Tropical Storm Mindy organizing just offshore Wednesday afternoon, the Panhandle anticipates an additional one to four inches in precipitation.

A Flash Flood Warning went into effect at 2PM CST across Bay County, and now extends into Washington, Gulf, and Calhoun counties. The coast now is under a Tropical Storm Warning.

Depending on the how the rest of hurricane season plays out, wet weather events, like low impact tropical storms will be subject to cause ongoing flood problems here in the Panhandle.

Even as we head out of the peak tropical season, come mid-October, strong cold fronts that bring about heavy rains could also keep the water table high, in turn continuing the potential for flood events.

According to the National Weather Service, preparing for a flood is much like preparing for a hurricane. They recommend updating your plumbing, keeping sandbags handy and always have an updated emergency plan.

At this point, it would take about three weeks with minimal rainfall for us to notice the ground drying up.

Emergency services have put out sand bagging stations at Deer Point Dam and Pete Edwards Field.

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