Hurricane Sally expected to produce a ‘historic’ amount of river flooding in Okaloosa County

Okaloosa County

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Hurricane Sally slammed Okaloosa County on Tuesday.

County officials said the biggest threat from the storm is the potential for a historic amount of river flooding from the Blackwater, Yellow and Shoal rivers.

“We have probably around 800 homes between those three rivers in areas that could see some measure of flooding,” Patrick Maddox, Okaloosa County public safety director, said. “That historic level of flooding is the reasonable worst case scenario. So that’s if all the rain materializes and the conditions come together perfectly, that’s what we would see.”

Maddox said that the amount of rainfall over the next couple of days could vary throughout the county.

“Rainfall with 10 to 15 inches across areas in the county is absolutely possible,” Maddox said. “There are pockets of the county that will see more than that. Some areas where thunderstorms train over and over again depending on where the system sets up, that’s possible with a slow-moving system like this, two miles per hour, that could see 30 inches of rain.”

Maddox added that flooding would probably be at its worst after the storm when the rainfall had a chance to accumulate.

“This is not a typical hurricane type scenario because the tropical storm force conditions are not things we normally pop shelters for or that we have great concerns for. This county is resilient,” Maddox said. “Our folks know how to handle them.”

“It’s the heavy rainfall and the flooding of the rivers so we’re at more of a flooding event,” he added. “Once the tropical storm conditions abate which we expect to see late Wednesday evening.”

To report any property damages from the storm, visit Okaloosa County’s new storm related damages web page.

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