Tropical Storm Karen Update #2 issued 10-4-13

Storm Information as Forecasted by the National Weather Service

•               Great uncertainty exists in Karen`s track and the current forecast is subject to change. The current official forecast turns Karen gradually more northward with a decrease in forward speed later today with another gradual turn to the northeast Saturday. Santa Rosa County remains in the cone of probability.

•               The center of Karen is expected to be near the Alabama coast early Sunday morning.

•               Storm Surge may produce one to three feet of inundation for our area. During the hours surrounding the time of high tide Saturday evening and into Sunday Morning is when the highest water levels should be observed with a very slow water recession during the day on Sunday.

•               Wind gusts along the coast approaching hurricane force will be possible in rain bands, tapering off to 35 to 45 mph well inland over southwest Alabama and the western Florida panhandle.

•               Rainfall totals of two to four inches with locally higher totals of five to eight inches are possible mainly along and to the east of Karen`s Center. Isolated Tornadoes are possible as Karen`s Outer rain bands approach Friday night and Saturday.


Actions Taken by Santa Rosa County

•               The Santa Rosa Commission held an emergency called meeting on Friday, Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. in the emergency operations center.  At the meeting, the board declared a local state of emergency.  Declaring a local state of emergency allows the county to make formal requests to the state and FEMA for assistance if needed.

•               No evacuation orders are currently issued. However, residents who do not feel comfortable staying in their homes and who plan to stay at an alternate location are asked to make their storm preparations and be at their destination by 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 in order to avoid hazardous weather conditions.  

•               Emergency management staff are participating in planning meetings today and will be monitoring conditions overnight. The EOC will activate at a level 2 or partial activation at 7a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5.

•               Public works crews continue to implement their storm preparation protocol which includes fueling of equipment, stocking vehicles, placing employees on standby for after-hours road clearing, staging equipment, and clearing of all known blocked drainage features.

•               The Citizens Information Line is open at 983-INFO (4636).

•               The American Red Cross is on standby to open a public shelter if needed.

•               The Central Landfill, animal services, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier and the library system will be open on Saturday, Oct. 5 for regular operating hours unless weather conditions change.


Beaches to Woodlands Tour Event Changes

•               Coastal Encounters at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5 is canceled.

•               The postponement of the first Oktoberfest celebration at Juana’s Pagodas on Navarre Beach is postponed to Oct. 12.


Steps Residents Can Take Now

•               Clear your yard of any debris that might clog stormwater drains when washed to the street by rain such as leaves or limbs.

•               Turn off any automatic sprinkler systems and do not water your lawn until after the storm passes.

•               No evacuation orders are currently in effect, however this can change depending on changes to the storm’s forecasted track and impacts to Santa Rosa County.  Don’t wait to find out if you live in an evacuation zone, visit and enter your address or download the “B-ready Santa Rosa” app from the iTunes or Google Play store.

•               Fill vehicle gas tank.

•               Get cash and secure important papers and valuables.

•               Refill medications.

•               Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools.

•               Shutter your windows.

•               Prepare boats.

•               Help neighbors with their preparations.

•               Make final preparations to secure your home so you can leave if an evacuation order is issued.

•               No shelters are currently scheduled to open. However, if you are registered for transportation to a public shelter, be sure you have everything you need for your “go bag” in case conditions change.

•               Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management’s latest all-hazards disaster guide is now available online at or at county offices and libraries, local chambers of commerce, and local retailers.


Sand & Bags

Sand and sand bags are available at local home improvement stores for purchase. Santa Rosa County is making limited supplies available at no cost at several locations. Residents should bring shovels and be prepared to fill and load their own bags. County and fire department staff ARE NOT available to make home deliveries.  If fire department staff are on calls, they will not be available to hand out sand bags.


•               Sand only is available at the following locations while supplies last.

-               Tiger Point Park-1370 Tiger Park Lane, Gulf Breeze

-               The intersection of Citrus Drive and Leisure Street in Holley By The Sea

-               The intersection of Pine Forest Road and Carroll Road in Milton

•               Empty Sandbags (25-bag limit per vehicle) while supplies last at:

-               From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Midway Fire District Station at 1322 College Pkwy.

-               On Friday, Oct. 4 at 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Gulf Breeze City Hall,1070 Shoreline Dr., Gulf Breeze

•               Sand & Sandbags (25-bag limit per vehicle) while supplies last at:

-               Pace Fire Rescue District at 4773 Pace Patriot Blvd.

-               Holley-Navarre Fire District at 8618 East Esplanade St.


Traffic Conditions

•               Heavy rain may quickly flood low-lying areas including roads and bridges.  Standing water creates a serious road hazard, even when only a portion of the roadway is flooded. 

•               Dangerous road conditions can be reported to 983-5372.

•               Any closures will be announced as they occur.

•               Bridges will be closed at the onset of sustained tropical storm force winds, or 39 MPH.

•               Florida road closures are available at or a free phone call to 511.


General Safety Information

•      or follow us on Twitter at @SRCBOCC

•               Please monitor your home weather radio and local media outlets for the most up-to-date information.

•               Your best defense in any disaster is a NOAA Weather radio.

•               Citizens can signup to automatically receive breaking news alerts from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management via e-mail or as a text message on their cell phone at:


Citizen Information Line

•               The Citizens Information Line is open.

•               Citizens may call 983-INFO (4636) with questions.