The Florida Panhandle and Alabama’s Gulf Coast were inundated with devastating flooding as rains hammered the region on Tuesday and early Wednesday. The event is already being described by Florida officials as the worst flooding in 30 years, with the area seeing 12 to 17 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Here is what you need to know:
1. At Least One Person Has Died In the Flooding
Palafox St, DT Pensacola pic.twitter.com/jVDx8qzI3J
— Lena DeFlores (@NafeesaTV) April 30, 2014
USA Today reports that one woman in Pensacola, Florida, was killed on Wednesday when she drove her car into high water. Many people from the area have already been evacuated, and ABC reports that rescue boats and jet skis have been moving from the waterfront to the streets.
2. The Pensacola Area Was Hit the Hardest
Rain began in Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday evening and quickly 15 to 20 inches of rain fell onto the city. The storm was accompanied by tornado warning across the gulf area and Pensacola.
3. Nearly 24,000 People Are Without Power
dude look at the flooding in my town I LIVE IN FLORIDA THIS ISNT THE SUNSHINE STATE pic.twitter.com/2iUtcx6EuA
— natalie // 154 ◡̈ (@lemontwistlarry) April 30, 2014
The Pensacola News Journal is currently reporting that around 23,700 are now without power in Escambia county, and 1,300 are without power in Santa Rosa.
4. A 10-Mile Stretch of Interstate 10 Is Closed
— N. Jerzy Fire Alert (@NJerzyFireAlert) April 30, 2014
As a result of the flooding, a 10 mile stretch of Interstate 10 leading West from Pensacola has been closed down. Reports and photographs from the interstate show that parts of the highway are underwater and parts, like the picture you can see above, have been completely washed away. There is no word on when the road will be able to reopen.
5. A State of Emergency Has Been Declared for 26 Florida Counties
On Wednesday morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 Florida counties across north Florida and the Panhandle region. The Florida National Guard has been mobilized in high-wheeled vehicles to the area and will be helping people trapped in their houses and cars.