Florida Panhandle And Southern Alabama Dealing With Massive Flooding On Wednesday, Highlight Hollywood News

florida-flooding
The Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama were swamped by torrential rains and heavy flooding early Wednesday from a severe storm system that has brought death and destruction across the South.High water forced officials to shut down Interstate 10 at the Alabama-Florida state line, stranding people in their cars. Some drivers simply abandoned their vehicles to walk to safety.
The heavy rains also wiped out a section of Scenic Highway that runs along the western side of Escambia Bay near Pensacola, Fla. Two vehicles plummeted 40 feet as a 50-yard wide section of the highway collapsed south of Gaberonne, Fla., the Pensacola News Journal reports.
Most of the eastern third of the nation will continue to see heavy rain and the chance of severe thunderstorms and flooding through the rest of today and into the overnight hours.
The Storm Prediction Center forecast a risk of severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening from the central Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic across the coastal Southeast to the Florida Panhandle.
“Wednesday has the potential to be the worst day of the outbreak for people in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said. “Storms that erupt will bring damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes.”
Over the past four days, the storms hit especially hard in places such as Arkansas’ northern Little Rock suburbs and the Mississippi cities of Louisville and Tupelo. Arkansas, with 15 deaths after a tornado blasted through Sunday, and Mississippi with 12 deaths from Monday’s storms, accounted for the brunt of the death toll.
The National Weather Service said that more than 5 inches of rain fell between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday in Pensacola, surpassing the entire total rainfall from Hurricane Ivan in 60 minutes.     In Florida, fire rescue crews weren’t able to respond to some calls for help because of road flooding in and around Pensacola, Escambia County spokesman Bill Pearson said.
Downtown sections of Mobile, Ala., and Pensacola were hit by severe flooding as the strong storm cell dumped more than a foot of rain on the region. Heavy rains also opened up a sinkhole in Mobile, swallowing a truck.
The Florida National Guard dispatched high-wheeled vehicles into the hardest hit areas and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staffed two boats with officers who made medical rescues and helped pull stranded residents to safety.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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