Florida has some major flood warnings stretching along the Gulf Coast from the Panhandle into Mississippi as heavy rain continues Monday with what already appears to be a repeat of weekend downpours and storms.
As heavy rains added to the severe flooding in Pensacola, Fla., Escambia and Santa Rosa counties began assessing damage Sunday. Damage is already estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Escambia officials expect damages to cost more than $20 million. In Santa Rosa, officials estimated that the Midway area alone saw more than $1.5 million in damage to dozens of homes.
The extensive storm system that stalled over Escambia and Santa Rosa counties Saturday dumped up to 13.11 inches of rain by nightfall, the second-highest single-day total ever recorded in Pensacola.
Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino estimated Sunday that at least 100 homes in his district had flood damage. .
Escambia County Emergency Manager John Dosh said while Sunday was expected to bring in less rain than Saturday, it should not be taken lightly.
“Our grounds are extremely saturated and all of our creeks, bays and ditches are full,” Dosh said. “Five inches could put us back where we were yesterday.”
The storm was responsible for stirring up the Gulf and tempting risk takers into the water with deadly consequences.
One person drowned and at least a dozen more swimmers were ordered out of a stormy Gulf of Mexico on Sunday at Pensacola Beach.
Lifeguards closed Pensacola Beach to swimmers early Sunday morning because of rip currents and surf that reached 8 feet.
But swimmers ignored red flag warnings and had to be pulled from the surf by lifeguards.