PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes Jackson, and Washington Counties have declared a Local State of Emergency as of Friday afternoon as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches the Florida Panhandle.
In support of sheltering efforts, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners issued a local State of Emergency for PTC16 on Friday morning. The Bay County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has activated to a Level 2, or partial activation, to support sheltering needs, and will remain at this level until the threat has dissipated.
Mandatory evacuations are NOT planned for Bay County at this time, as this event does not pose significant storm surge threats that would trigger an evacuation. Residents are asked to, if possible, remain in their homes or shelter locations for the duration of the bad weather.
Storm Surge: Very little storm surge is predicted for Bay County at this time, though high tide may be one to two feet higher than normal. Storm-surge related evacuations are not expected.
Bay County Public Works placed sand for bagging at Pete Edwards Field at 7300 McElvey Rd., Panama City Beach and at the Deer Point Dam located on the NW side of County Road 2321. Sandbags are available for purchase at home improvement stores.
Franklin County Sheriffs Office will be manning all State Bridges. Bridges will close at sustained wind speeds of 45mph.
Sand bags are being distributed at the following locations from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Limit of 10 bags per household and only for ground level homes directly on the coastline or low-lying areas.
- Apalachicola – Old State Yard on Bluff Road (12th Street)
- Eastpoint – Fire Station
- St. George Island – Fire Station
- Carrabelle – Old County Annex on Hwy 98 E
Storm surge potential is greatest Friday evening and Saturday (3-5 ft. above ground, THIS AMOUNT IS INCLUDING HIGH TIDE). Peak water levels are expected around the time of high tide in the pre-dawn hours Saturday through midmorning Saturday.
Storm total rainfall forecast through Saturday is 2-4 in. with isolated heavier totals to 6 in. especially near the coast.
Tornado potential will increase in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday and continue through the early afternoon.
Commissioners have issued a voluntary evacuation for residents in low-lying areas, coastal areas, those in RV’s, Mobile Homes, or any unsafe structure.
A general population shelter will open at the Honeyville Community Center at 7:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM CDT). The shelter is located at 240 Honeyville Park Dr. Wewahitchka, FL 32465. Those intending to utilize the shelter will need to bring bedding, air mattresses, or cots and food/water. This is not a comfort shelter; it is a safe-haven shelter. The shelter will close in the afternoon on Saturday, October 19, once the weather improves.
All persons with interests in Gulf County are strongly advised to monitor the latest forecasts and should begin taking necessary precautions to protect life and property
Out of an abundance of caution, Holmes County was placed under a local State of Emergency at 10:30 a.m.
Residents are asked to monitor local weather broadcasts and prepare by securing any loose objects around their property and keep travel during peak storm hours to a minimum.
Jackson County Emergency Management Director Rodney Andreasen stated Friday that he and staff are closely monitoring the situation. A local state of emergency was approved Friday afternoon should conditions worsen and the Emergency Operations Center need to be activated. At this time, activation is not expected.
Potential impacts to our area include limited damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects may be blown about. Tree limbs may fall in wind gusts and shallow-rooted trees may be damaged. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways are possible. Scattered power and communications outages may occur. An isolated tornado or two is possible with this system. Tornado potential will increase in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday and continue through early afternoon.
Jackson County residents should prepare by checking weather radios for proper operation, preparing for possible brief power outages, anchoring outdoor furniture or similar items, and staying weather aware as Nestor continues to move towards the panhandle and big bend area.
For continued updates on Tropical Storm Nestor, follow the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners Facebook page.
Washington County declared a Local State of Emergency at 1:00PM today in preparation for Tropical Storm Nestor. Our area could experience tropical storm force winds beginning sometime between midnight and noon tomorrow. Rainfall accumulation could reach 2-4 inches with isolated higher amounts possible but not probable. The main concern will be downed trees and powerlines.
After school activities have been postponed to Monday, October 21, 2019.
Chipley Public Works has a sandbag fill station set up in the parking lot across the street from Public Works located at 671 Rustin Drive.
For more information, please visit our FB page by searching Emergency Management, Washington County, Florida. For reporting downed trees and power lines, call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 638-6111. Citizens needing sand bags are asked to call 638-6203 until 4PM today and 415-5026 after 4PM.