Florida in State of Emergency for Rainy, Slow-Moving Debby
Florida is in a state of emergency awaiting Tropical Storm Debby, which is expected to strike in the Big Bend region later this week, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday.
The storm, creeping toward Taylor and Dixie counties on Monday, may not reach land until Wednesday or Thursday, Scott said in a media conference at the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
“We’re going to have flooding and potential tornadoes,” Scott cautioned.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg area has seen a bulk of the heavy rains that have fallen across the state from the storm, with 10-to-20 inches expected in areas directly hit by the storm, said Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon.
Koon said large-scale power outages are not expected. He said the storm has caused 35,000 customers to have lost power in various parts of the state.
Nine shelters were opened in the state Sunday night, but attendance was deemed light.
As of 2 p.m. EDT, Debby was sitting in the northeast Gulf of Mexico, wading in shallow water about 50 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The speeds are down from 60 mph on Sunday and 50 mph earlier Monday.
Warnings are in place from Destin on the Panhandle to Englewood, south of Tampa.