The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners said they continue to monitor and work closely with states potentially affected by Tropical Storm Debby, including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.
FEMA is urging residents to be vigilant in monitoring local reports due to anticipated heavy flooding.
As of 10 a.m. today, the storm is currently located in the Gulf of Mexico about 75 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida, and continues on a very slow pace, moving northeastward at 3 m.p.h. Tropical storm watches and warnings, as well as flash flood watches and warnings have been issued for several areas along the Gulf Coast, including inland areas.
“Gulf coast residents and visitors should take Tropical Storm Debby seriously,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 illustrates the immense amount of rain a slow-moving tropical system can produce. Flooding with Tropical Storm Debby is a very big concern for the Florida panhandle and portions of the southeast.”
According to the National Weather Service, Debby is expected to produce rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over eastern portions of the Florida panhandle and northern Florida, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches possible. Total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are expect over central Florida and southeast Georgia into coastal South Carolina, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible.
Along with the heavy rains, land falling tropical systems also increase the potential for tornadoes, and FEMA is urging people in the impacted areas to monitor weather conditions by listening to your local radio and television news outlets, or by listening to NOAA Weather Radio.
Through its regional offices in Atlanta, Ga., and Denton, Texas, FEMA said it remains in contact with state emergency management officials and is ready to support impacted states if requested. At the request of the State of Florida, a FEMA liaison officer is onsite at the Florida state emergency operations center to support state response efforts as needed.
More information on tropical storm and flooding preparedness is available at www.ready.gov.