Fla. Residents Urged to Leave Low-Lying Areas

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- Residents of several counties along Florida's Gulf
coast are being urged to leave low-lying neighborhoods because of
the threat of flooding from Tropical Storm Debby.

The storm has already dumped heavy rain on parts of the state,
and it has brought some isolated tornadoes. One death is blamed on
a tornado from the storm. Another man is missing in the Gulf of
Mexico at an Alabama beach, as the storm kicked up rough surf.

The storm is essentially standing still, about 115 miles
south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida. Its top winds are clocked
at 60 miles an hour.

Storm tracks are often difficult to foresee days in advance, but
a forecast map predicts that it will meander to the north as the
week unfolds.

A major concern will be flooding from heavy rainfall. Because
the storm is moving slowly, its clouds have more time to unload
rain. One advisory says some areas of northern Florida could get as
much as 25 inches of rain.

Despite the warnings issued in the Florida Panhandle, the storm
hasn't totally dampened vacations. Thousands were on the beach at
Pensacola Beach, Fla., this morning. Many used phones to take
photos of huge waves crashing into the concrete supports of a
fishing pier.


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