Rainy season opens with soggy start (2024)

Rainy season opens with soggy start (1)

It’s often said when it rains, it pours, and that’s certainly been the case for Southwest Florida this past week.

If residents were wondering when rainy season would start, it’s here. It seems Mother Nature has made up for lost time, dumping heavy amounts of precipitation across Lee County and other local areas, putting an end to a county-wide burn ban and causing flooding in many areas.

Gov.Ron DeSantis on Wednesday declared a state of emergency due to severe weather that has impacted areas of South Florida, including Lee County. Widespread, heavy rainfall has seen cumulative totals of 10 to 15 inches of rain in some areas, with cars wading through areas of Cape Coral this past week.

Other parts of South Florida reported more than 25 inches of rain.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the rainfall and flooding has affected and may continue to impact the operational capability of critical infrastructure, including major interstates, state and county roadways, airports, schools, and other critical infrastructure throughout these counties,” DeSantis’ executive order states. . “Additional rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecasted for South Florida for the next several days which will further exacerbate ongoing flood conditions over already impacted and vulnerable metropolitan areas.”

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch on Wednesday that was to run until Thursday at 8 p.m.

Officials state that “flooding caused by excessive rainfall continues to be possible.”

The alert also stated that “Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Flooding may occur in poor draining and urban areas. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris.”

Rains are expected to continue through the weekend.

Bernie Rayno, AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist, in a statement said, “Torrential downpours from a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms have already flooded several areas in the Sunshine State.

“It’s like a garden hose. Instead of it being on spray, it’s on stream, bringing heavy rain in one area. That’s why we’re seeing so much rain in Fort Myers and Sarasota.”

Lee County officials this week said staff members are in regular communication with partners at the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay and are monitoring the tropical moisture and forecast.

“The county encourages residents to monitor NWS’ website and social media and to listen to local media outlets meteorologists’ reports,” officials said.

Department of Transportation crews are working throughout unincorporated Lee County, officials said, monitoring any potentially blocked storm grates and areas with localized flooding, addressing both. DOT monitors and adjusts weirs as necessary during rainfall events such as this.

State Farm officials, who said Thursday that the agency has already received hundreds of claims coming from batch of storm, offered South Florida drivers tips to help avoid flood damage to vehicles:

• Do not drive into water pooled on the road, the depth is not known and could be deeper than appears.

• If your vehicle stalls, DO NOT attempt to restart it, as your engine may be damaged. Leave it immediately and seek higher ground.

• Stay off roads until flood waters have subsided, and do not park your vehicle near bodies of water, rivers, streams and washes.

If your vehicle has been exposed to flood water, follow these insurance/claim tips to help limit the damage to your car after flood/water exposure:

• Do not start a flooded vehicle until it has received a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic. This will cause more damage if there is water in the engine.

• Record the highest level of water exposure on your flooded vehicle.

• Start drying out your vehicle as quickly as possible, and contact a towing service to get it back to higher ground.

• File an insurance claim. Contact your agent or insurance company and advise them that your vehicle has been flooded. The sooner the vehicle can be evaluated and dried out, the less damage the vehicle will sustain.

Florida drivers are encouraged to check with their insurance agent to ensure adequate coverage for your vehicle, including Comprehensive Coverage. Comprehensive is the coverage that kicks in to repair or replace a covered vehicle damaged by rising flood waters.

Cape Coral residents can sign up for weather alert updates on city special events by texting “CCSPECIALEVENTS” to 84483.

Lee County residents can receive updates regarding emergency messages by registering for the free service at AlertLee.com.

Rainy season opens with soggy start (2024)
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