Florida’s western Panhandle, the one area of the state spared the impact of Hurricane Irma nearly a month ago, is expected to get winds, surging water and rain this weekend from fast-moving Tropical Storm Nate.
Hurricane Irma’s devastating storm surge came with weird twists that scientists attribute to the storm’s girth, path and some geographic quirks. A combination of storm surge, heavy rains and swollen rivers sent some of the worst flooding into Jacksonville, Florida, even though Irma roared into the opposite end of the state, had weakened to a tropical storm and its eye stayed at least 80 miles (130 kilometers) away.
With tropical storm-force winds less than 24 hours away, Hurricane Irma also is expected to bring storm surge of 6-12 feet to the state’s southern coasts, Gov. Rick Scott said Friday night. “Our state has never seen anything like this before,” he said. The governor spoke at an evening news briefing from the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. “Think about that: It could cover your house,” Scott told reporters. “This storm surge will rush in; it could kill you.”
State Rep. Kathleen Peters has joined state Sen. Jack Latvala in a call for action after Hurricane Hermine. The Treasure Island Republican, in a statement released Friday, called for a special meeting of Pinellas County’s legislative delegation and local leaders “to discuss critical infrastructure concerns in light of recent storm surges.” Hermine, a Category 1 hurricane at landfall, knocked out electric service Thursday night to hundreds of thousands across North Florida, and caused significant damage along the state’s Gulf coast. Peters said she was specifically…