Fay stalls, drowns Florida
You can say what you want about the way the news media hype tropical systems that never really grow into "dangerous" hurricanes. But Fay is a good example of why we can't afford to ignore the little storms.
Although it never achieved hurricane status, slow-moving Tropical Storm Fay is dropping a tremendous amount of rain on the state of Florida. She has already caused at least one death in the state, sparked tornadoes, caused severe flooding and produced record rains. And there's more to come.
I just checked Cocoa Beach, just south of the Kennedy Space Center. I count more than 21 inches of rain since Tuesday morning. I don't care where you are, or how well you think you can handle a "small" storm like this one - 21 inches of rain is dangerous and capable of causing tremendous damage. Add winds of TS strength and you're going to wish you lived somewhere else.
Agnes (in 1972) was a hurricane only briefly. And Isabel (in 2003) was knocked down to tropical storm status immediately after making landfall in North Carolina. But both caused tremendous damage and deaths.
Here are some more rainfall totals from East Central Florida.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE MELBOURNE 16.83"
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 13.32"
WINDOVER FARMS 24.80"
FORT PIERCE 11.26"
SCRIPPS SPACE COAST REPORT FROM SEBASTIAN- PUBLIC - 18.50"
Here's a rainfall estimate map, based on radar data. And it's still coming down. Here's the word from the hurricane center:
FAY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES OVER EAST-CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA...WITH 3 TO 6 INCHES OVER SOUTHEASTERN GEORGIA. ISOLATED STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS OF 30 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN FLORIDA.