[FSU ALERT - Businesses / Churches / Housing] Flash Flood Watch / Tropical Disturbance - FSU Situation Report - 8/16/13 8:45AM

Bujak, David R. dbujak at admin.fsu.edu
Fri Aug 16 08:44:52 EDT 2013

Emergency Management Team

Situation Report
Issued 8/16/13 8:45AM

Situation: Flash Flood Watch / Tropical Disturbance

- *FLASH FLOOD WATCH* in effect for the entire region (Panhandle, Big Bend, North Florida, South Georgia, South Alabama) through Saturday night.
- General 3 to 5 inches of rainfall for most of us; with isolated amounts up to 10 to 12 inches possible.
- Tropical Disturbance 92L remains disorganized; leaning toward Texas.
- Tropical Storm Erin is on the back burner.

As has been predicted for the past few days, the heavy rainfall and flooding threat is coming to fruition.  The National Weather Service has issued a FLASH FLOOD WATCH for the entire region beginning this morning through Saturday evening, with possible extension into Sunday.  A general 3 to 5 inches of rainfall is expected for most of us, however, some isolated locations may see upwards of 10 to 12 inches of rain when all said and done.  Given the existing saturated soils from July's deluge, there is little to no margin for the rainfall to get absorbed into the ground.  Instead, everything is expected to proceed into surface runoff.

All forms of flooding are possible this weekend.  If the rainfall falls at a rapid rate, we can easily overwhelm our stormwater systems, resulting in urbanized flash flooding.  Low-lying areas which tend to accumulate water and hold on to it for a while are also in play.  Although the university does not have any direct interests in area rivers, creeks, streams; anyone who resides along one should be prepared for potential flooding early-to-mid next week should predicted rainfall amounts materialize.

As I explained yesterday, all of this forecasted deluge comes courtesy of a stationary front which will create a focal point for deep tropical moisture coming up from the Gulf.  This scenario is NOT dependent upon the potential development (or lack thereof) of Disturbance 92L.  So, don't think that since 92L is not organized or may be headed further westward, that this forecast is not real.  If anything, 92L's disorganization is what is "freeing up" some of that deep tropical moisture to flow northward to us instead of getting wrapped up into a tropical cyclone.

As far as 92L is concerned... it remains disorganized this morning as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula.  The National Hurricane Center is maintaining a 50% chance of development in the coming days.  Most of the computer model guidance is spread with tracks anywhere from Louisiana to Mexico.  Any development is expected to be slow to occur with a potential "landfall" now expected 3 to 4 days from now (Mon-Tues).  So, from a tropical cyclone perspective, I don't think there's much we need to worry about this system.  As I mentioned above, our main concern is how much moisture it may contribute to our heavy rainfall / flooding threat.

Tropical Storm Erin is still out there but not worth discussing any further at this point.

Flash Flood Watch: http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov/weather/alertinfo/12062576
NWS Tallahassee Forecast: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=30.442162058604254&lon=-84.2984390258789#.Ug4TB5LVBsk
Regional rain gauges: http://www.nwfwmd.state.fl.us/isb/hydro/leonrain.html
Regional flood gauges: http://www.nwfwmd.state.fl.us/isb/hydro/stage.html

- FSU Emergency Management will monitor the situation throughout the weekend.
- Report any immediate life-threatening conditions by calling 911 and FSU Police: 644-1234.
- Report any other impacts to Facilities: 644-2424

- "TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN" is the key message.  Most flood-related fatalities occur in vehicles.  Only a few inches of moving water can wipe a person off their feet or float a car.  Never drive through flowing water, even if you think it's not that deep.  What you may not see is that the road has been washed out or you misjudge the pavement boundaries.  Especially at night, you can't see into the water at all.  Flash flooding is called "flash" because it occurs rapidly with little to no warning.  Once flash flooding has begun, it is NOT worth risking your life to try and move vehicles or other property.  You are better off educating yourself where the known flood-prone areas are and avoiding them when a known threat exists (e.g. Flash Flood Watch).

- Flood Zones on campus: http://pub.extranet.fsu.edu/sites/safety/safetywiki/Wiki%20Pages/Emergency%20Management-Flooding.aspx
- Flood Zones in Leon County: http://imsinter.leoncountyfl.gov/website/Base_SDE/viewer.htm

>>--Dave Bujak--,,>
Emergency Management Coordinator
Florida State University

1021 Atomic Way - Carothers Hall 1200 - Tallahassee, FL 32306-4481
(850) 644-7055 Office. (850) 694-3212 Mobile
DBujak at fsu.edu<mailto:DBujak at fsu.edu> Email
http://safety.fsu.edu/EmergencyManagement Web Site

Past Chair, International Association of Emergency Managers USA, Universities and Colleges Caucus http://iaem.com/committees/ucc

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