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State preparing for heavy rains, severe flooding Memorial Day weekend

Flood Watch
Posted at 12:10 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 12:10:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Governor Rick Scott says the state has National Guard members on standby and flood response resources in position ahead of possible torrential rain and severe flooding this weekend. 

On Thursday, Scott received a full update on Invest 90L, which has an 80 percent probability of tropical development over the next five days.

“With the National Hurricane Center (NHC) now advising that Invest 90L has an 80 percent probability of tropical development over the next five days, it is absolutely critical that every Florida family is fully prepared for potential impacts," said Scott. "We know that many families have travel plans this Memorial Day weekend but everyone has to put safety first and remember to never drive in dangerous conditions or through standing water."

See below for more information on the precautions the State of Florida is taking:

EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

STATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER

  • If severe weather threatens 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.  
    • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning and should seek shelter immediately.
    • 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 areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
    • 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.  

MILITARY SUPPORT

  • The Florida National Guard has 5,500 guard members available for deployment if needed.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is actively monitoring the storm and standing-by to assist with any weather-related missions.
  • On May 22, at Governor Scott’s direction, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) began to pre-position and stage its high-water vehicles and all other flood response resources so they may be rapidly deployed to assist Floridians in need in the event of any flooding. FWC continues to monitor the storm and ready to respond as needed.

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is watching the storm and actively monitoring for roadway flooding in areas already impacted by heavy rains and stands ready to respond as needed.

SHELTERS

  • The state is preparing to support local sheltering operations if needed. More information on shelters will be made available as decisions on potential evacuations are made.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL

  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) are standing by to assist healthcare facilities if needed. 

WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS

  • Lake Okeechobee is currently at 13.67 feet and is being continuously monitored by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Lake Okeechobee water levels.

CONTACTS

  • The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Invest 90L.
  • Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.