CHIPLEY — Rain continues to fall, and now all the roads in Washington County have been declared closed.

CHIPLEY — Rain continues to fall, and now all the roads in Washington County have been declared closed.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross Shelter opened on Wednesday in Vernon has been moved to the Ag Center in Chipley due to flooding making the Vernon High School campus, where the shelter was initially opened, inaccessible.

Due to the continuing rain event across the panhandle of Florida all the roads in Washington County have been impacted, according to officials.

Rising water and continued rains have made the dirt roads unstable.  Running waters have begun to erode the travel lanes.  Due to waters crossing the roads many of the dirt roads have been cut in two.

The paved roads have also been impacted.  Several paved roads have water standing or running across them creating travel hazards.

In a special briefing at the EOC this afternoon (July 4, 2013) the Washington County Board of County Commissioners declared all the roads in Washington County hazardous for traffic.  The Board urges all residents to use extreme caution and limit all travel to only that which is necessary.

This advisory is in effect until lifted by the board.

Due to extremely dangerous road conditions which continue to deteriorate and in the interest of their personnel, the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Constitutional Officers and Judge Colby Peel announce that all county government offices will be closed tomorrow, July 5th and the Court House will be closed as well.  

Red Cross Shelter is open at the Washington County Ag Center, and workers there advise residents to bring bedding. “We have 13-14 cots, but they need to bring pillows and bedding,” said volunteer Carol Dow.

The shelter at the Ag Center is open for families that are impacted by flooding. The shelter will open at 3 p.m.

Dow said she did not know how many the shelter would need to remain open.  

 Families coming to the shelter should remember to bring the following items:

1)     Identification

2)     Important medications

3)     Personal hygiene and comfort items

4)     Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows for sleeping

5)     Foods for special dietary restrictions

6)     Small games, books, etc. for children

 According to Red Cross Director, Bob Pearce, “We are urging everyone to pay attention to local media and announcements from local governments regarding road closures and water levels in low lying areas. Avoid driving or walking through standing water.  Report all incidents of flooding to law enforcement or your local Emergency Management offices.  If you feel you are in immediate danger call 911.  Your safety and the safety of your loved ones is your most important consideration!”