Coastal flooding, locally heavy rain possible for Pensacola area through Thursday

Annie Blanks Pensacola News JournalPublished 3:28 PM EDT Sep 23, 2020Coastal areas of Pensacola and Santa Rosa

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Coastal areas of Pensacola and Santa Rosa County could experience some minor flooding over the next few days, as rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Beta threatens already swollen rivers and tides left over from last week’s Hurricane Sally.

The National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, has the entire western Panhandle under a coastal flooding advisory until 10 a.m. Thursday. Locally, heavy rainfall amounts up to 3 inches are possible in some areas as rain bands move east from Louisiana and Mississippi.

The rainfall could elevate already high rivers and tides even higher, which could lead to coastal flooding, particularly in places like Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach and along the Blackwater River. 

By the numbers: Hurricane Sally by the numbers: 2 feet of rain, 92 mph winds and 5 foot storm surge

“During high tide, when the tides come in from the Gulf, they’re going to be a bit higher right now due to the way the winds and water levels are elevated,” said Cody Lindsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Thursday has the area’s highest chance of rain at 60%, and the chance is slated to go down Friday and into the weekend. Sunday has just a 30% chance of rain, with scattered daytime showers possible. 

The coastal flooding and heavy rainfall is particularly concerning for areas that have already been inundated with floodwaters from last week's high rain totals, and also houses and other buildings that may have roof damage from Hurricane Sally.

Brad Baker, Santa Rosa County’s public safety director, said he’s in talks with the NWS and is monitoring the rainfall totals and water heights throughout the county.

“It doesn’t look like anything we need to do alerts out for at this time,” he said. “Obviously, we have damaged houses, and we gave out 9,000 tarps already, so hopefully people will be able to secure their homes. It’s just really a lot of rain over the next day and a half.”

Escambia County is still offering sand at the following locations for those who live in low-lying areas:

  • Baars Field Athletic Park, 13001 Sorrento Road, Pensacola
  • Brent Athletic Park, 4711 N. W St., Pensacola
  • Don Sutton Park, 2320 Crabtree Church Road, Molino
  • Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola
  • Escambia County Road Department, 601 Highway 297-A, Pensacola
  • Ferry Pass Middle School, 8355 Yancey Lane, Pensacola, sand will be on the northwest corner of school property on Parazine Street
  • John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park, 555 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola
  • Travis M. Nelson Park, 4541 County Road 4, Pensacola

"County officials are monitoring the system and encouraging residents to do the same over the next 36 hours and to take precautions as needed," said Escambia County spokeswoman Hana Frenette.

Annie Blanks can be reached at or 850-435-8632.
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