Hurricane Warnings are now in effect from Mexico Beach to the Suwannee River. Hurricane warnings are also in effect for inland portions of the western and central Florida Big Bend.
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect east of Mexico Beach to Destin. A hurricane storm watch is also in effect for this area. A tropical storm warning is still in effect for all of South Georgia, the eastern Florida Big Bend and portions of southeast Alabama.
The system continues to better organize and is now expected to be a hurricane before landfall.
Tropical Storm conditions are expected to begin along the coast by 5 pm ET today. Tropical Storm conditions should move into inland areas of the Florida Big Bend by 10 pm and reach South Georgia at midnight.
Landfall is expected early Friday, September 2, 2016 during morning hours.
Storm Surge is a significant concern, especially across Apalachee Bay, with maximum inundation of 5 to 7 feet above ground possible, especially in Taylor and Dixie County.
Heavy rainfall is becoming an increasing concern. A flash flood watch is now in effect. Most areas in the Southeast Florida Big Bend can anticipate 9 to 12 inches of rain with this system. Lesser amounts of 6 to 9 inches are expected across far Southern Georgia and the central Florida Big Bend. Isolated maximum totals of 15 to 20 inches possible.
Emergency Management is staging sandbags throughout the county. Franklin County Road Department on 65, Old Carrabelle Annex on Hwy 98 in Carrabelle and the State yard located on Bluff Road in Apalachicola and Franklin County Emergency Management Operations Center has sandbags.
St George Island bridge was scheduled to close this morning at 10:00 am, however residents are still being allowed to leave the island at this time but if the winds reach 45 mph sustained, at that time, anyone still on the island will not be allowed to leave.
Franklin County Emergency Management remains at a level one activation.