Residents urged to leave low-lying areas; flooding a threat

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Associated Press

Posted on June 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 24 at 9:01 PM

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.

%@AP Links

156-a-15-(Dennis Feltgen, spokesman, National Hurricane Center, in AP interview)-"tropical storm watch"-National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen says Tropical Storm Debby isn't threatening Louisiana much anymore, but is a danger for large parts of Alabama and Florida. (24 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *156 (06/24/12)>> 00:15 "tropical storm watch"

191-a-08-(Wesley Hughes, waiter, Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe, in AP interview)-"don't slow down"-Wesley Hughes, a waiter at Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe in Tampa, says the tourist areas are quiet because of the storm. (24 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *191 (06/24/12)>> 00:08 "don't slow down"

192-a-07-(Wesley Hughes, waiter, Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe, in AP interview)-"rains, it happens"-Wesley Hughes, a waiter at a Tampa cafe, says the rain has been coming in heavy bands, and causing some street flooding. (24 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *192 (06/24/12)>> 00:07 "rains, it happens"

GRAPHICSBANK: NOAA satellite image shows shower and thunderstorm activity developing around an area of low pressure spinning in the Gulf of Mexico, on texture, lettering TROPICAL WEATHER, finished graphic (24 Jun 2012)

APPHOTO FLPS104: High winds, high tide strike at the main street of Cedar Key, Fla., as Tropical Storm Debby makes it's way across the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, June 24, 2012. Parts of Florida, including the Panhandle, remain under a tropical storm warning as Debby churns off the Gulf Coast. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin) (24 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLPS104 (06/24/12)>>

APPHOTO ALMOP102: Police Chief Darryl Wilson waves in surfers as a storm warning is issued in Dauphin Island, Ala., Sunday, June 24, 2012, as Tropical Storm Debby churned off the Gulf Coast, leaving wary residents to closely watch a storm whose path has so far been difficult to forecast. Warnings were issued for coastal Alabama, low-lying coastal areas in Louisiana and parts of Florida, including the Panhandle. (AP Photo/Mobile Register, Mike Kittrell) (24 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO ALMOP102 (06/24/12)>>

APPHOTO FLPS103: A young girl reacts to a breaking waves at Cedar Key, Fla., as Tropical Storm Debby makes it's way across the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, June 24, 2012 drenching the Gulf coast of Florida in it's wake. Parts of Florida, including the Panhandle, remain under a tropical storm warning as Debby churns off the Gulf Coast. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin) (24 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLPS103 (06/24/12)>>

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