Florida panhandle gets 13 in. of rain

Residents are urged to evacuate low-lying areas

PENSACOLA, Fla | June 10, 2012

Severe storms brought heavy rains and subsequent flooding to the Florida Panhandle Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

The weather service said Pensacola had received 13.11 inches of rain, coming close to the city's single-day record of 15.29 inches, the Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach reported. Escambia County officials said 12-15 more inches of rain was possible by midnight Sunday, the newspaper said.

The county declared a state of emergency at 3 p.m., urging people in low-lying areas to evacuate. Dozens of streets were blocked by high water, officials said.

The storms also brought high winds that toppled power lines, leaving thousands of homes without electricity, the Daily News said.

At least 40 homes in Santa Rosa County had at least some flooding by Saturday evening, Joy Tsubooka, a spokeswoman for the county, said.

Gulf Breeze had received 9.14 inches of rain, producing standing water 4-5 feet deep in some streets, the newspaper said.

At least one tornado was reported to have touched down near the Gulf Breeze Flea Market, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said. No damage was reported.

About 12,000 customers were without power in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Gulf Power spokesman Jeff Rogers said.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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