Florida Floods – Governor Declares State of Emergency for 5 Counties

Florida Governor, Rick Scott, has declared a state of emergency for the five counties badly affected by flooding and heavy rainfall since 24 July.

Forecasters say there could be more rain to come, as another frontal system is entering the region and is forecast to stall over northern Florida by Sunday, 08 August. The approaching weather system has the potential to bring another round of heavy rainfall on already saturated ground and high river levels, increasing the potential for further flooding.

In a statement yesterday, 06 August 2015, the governor said the state of emergency was declared for Dixie, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Taylor Counties to support emergency response and recovery operations for communities inundated by heavy rains.

The severe weather was brought by several weather systems that moved into the State and brought heavy rainfall to portions of North and Central Florida from 24 July.

During that time period, the National Weather Service issued Flood Warnings for Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties as well as Flash Flood Warnings for Taylor and Dixie Counties.

Rainfall

The total ten day rainfall amounts exceeded 10 inches (254 mm) for a majority of Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties and exceeded 20 inches (508 mm)  in western Pasco County.

Between 24 July and 03 August, the National Weather Service gauge in Tarpon Springs (Pinellas County) measured approximately 18.54 inches (470 mm) of rain, while during that same time period the Tampa International Airport (Hillsborough County) gauge recorded approximately 14.59 inches (370 mm) of rain.

NOAA Climate Prediction Center forecasts above normal rainfall to continue over Northeast Florida, the Florida Big Bend, and portions of western Central Florida through the next 14 days

River Levels

The Anclote River (Pasco County) experienced the seventh highest crest on record at 25.25 feet on 04 August, 2015, and the Steinhatchee River (Taylor County/Dixie County) experienced a top ten record crest at 15.71 feet on 03 August, 2015.

Some rivers in Florida are still at or above flood stage, including the Anclote River near Elfers (Pasco County) and the Steinhatchee River west of Cross City (Taylor County/Dixie County), which are both at moderate flood stage.