Make preparations for heavy rain, tropical storm force winds
4 p.m., Sat., May 26 - The Santa Rosa County Emergency Management staff are closely monitoring the situation along with the
National Weather Service in Mobile. Residents and visitors are encouraged to do the same.
The Emergency Operations Center will activate at a Level II (partial activation) on Sunday at noon. Level II staffing includes emergency management staff and representatives from key agencies.
The Citizens Information Center (CIC) lines will open Sunday at noon. Call 850-983-INFO (4636) if you have any questions.
Current Weather Situation
Tonight: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Cloudy, with a low around 69. East wind 10 to 15 mph. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 79. Breezy, with a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Sunday Night: Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 72. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Storm Forecast Update
Alberto is forecast to continue slowly northward across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend and approach the north central Gulf coast on Monday.
Alberto is currently forecast to move into the far western portion of the western Florida panhandle Monday evening then continues slowly northward.
Alberto will bring copious amounts of rainfall to the area, especially Sunday into Tuesday.
Tropical storm force winds will likely impact coastal portions of the region late Sunday into Monday.
Storm surge inundation of 2 to 4 feet, possibly higher, is expected mainly Sunday night into Monday.
Isolated tornadoes will also be possible, mainly Sunday night into Monday night.
Weather Advisories, Watches and Warnings
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Santa Rosa County. A warning means tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected in the area within 36 hours.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for coastal Santa Rosa County.
A High Surf Warning is in effect through Tuesday evening.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Tuesday evening.
What You Can Do to Prepare
Preparations should be completed by Sunday afternoon.
Review your disaster plan. Where would you go if you should need to evacuate? Where would you seek shelter if there were a tornado warning?
Check and freshen your supplies. The first 72 are on you!
A high risk of rip currents will last through the start of next week.
Rip currents are our number one danger and will remain after the storm is out of the area. Follow the beach flag warning system and obey lifeguard direction. High surf with waves of five feet and higher can be expected.
Blackwater River State Forest
Officials with the Florida Forest Service's Blackwater Forestry Center are closing all campgrounds and day use areas of Blackwater River State Forest on Sunday. Florida Forest Service personnel will evaluate these areas after the storm passes an reopen them as weather allows.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Opal Beach complex/picnic area is closed. Park status updates will be posted online at www.nps.gov/GulfIslands and the national seashore operates a severe weather hotline at (850) 934-2656.
Memorial Day Ceremonies
The Veterans Memorial Plaza's annual Memorial Day ceremony in Milton has been cancelled due to weather.
In the south end of the county, the Memorial Day ceremony in Navarre Park has also been cancelled.
Be aware that with recent rains, the soil is moist and tall trees could topple in high winds. Please do NOT CALL 911 for power outages. For information on power outages, visit:
The county's Central Landfill will be closed on Monday. A determination on hours for Tuesday will be made at a later time.
The county's public works department has sand available at the following locations:
Leisure Street in Holley by the Sea
Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze
Pace Fire-Rescue in Pace
The corner of Pine Forest Road and Carroll Road in Milton
Those living in low-lying and flood-prone areas should pay special attention and make preparations now. Bring your own sandbags and shovel. Bags can be purchased for less than 50 cents each at local hardware stores, including Hall's Hardware in Milton and Lowe's in Pace/Pea Ridge. For more information on how to make and use sandbags, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (
Roads and Bridges
Bridges are closed only when Florida Highway Patrol or local law enforcement confirm sustained winds of 39 mph or greater on location.
No roads or bridges are closed in advance. If one bridge closes, it does not necessarily mean all bridges are closed. Santa Rosa County road closures are posted at
www.santarosa.fl.gov. State and interstate road and bridge closures (highways 87, 89, 90, 98, I-10, Avalon Blvd. and Garcon Point Bridge) are posted at