The Florida Division of Emergency Management is urging residents and businesses from Tampa to Pensacola to prepare for heavy rainfall and flooding potential through next week. In a statement Saturday, FDEM director Bryan W. Koon says the National Weather Service is monitoring a developing weather system along the Gulf Coast and that the service “expects this to be a slow moving heavy rain event which could last through Thursday,” affecting portions of the Big Bend and Panhandle.
The statement says the forecast calls for 10-15 inches of rain in locations from Tampa to Pensacola through the next five days with isolated areas receiving over 18 inches. Flash flooding could also occur in areas that receive rain amounts in excess of 3 inches in a short period of time.
On Friday, Tampabay.com reported that its been a decade since any major hurricane hit the coast. It further stated that Florida had not experienced any major hurricane since hurricane Wilma that took place in 2005. According to media reports, Florida’s coastal population has increased since 2005 adding almost half-million news homes that could suffer serious damage due to the expected heavy rainfall.
Accuweather.com reports that the entire stretch from northern Florida to Louisiana is being monitored along with adding that the storm would be named as Fiona.