APALACHICOLA — Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to make landfall between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday near Taylor County, a time frame officials hope will help alleviate storm surge and flooding in Gulf and Franklin counties.
Tom Durham, public information officer with Franklin County Emergency Management, said because the forecasted landfall is during low tide, the storm surge is not expected to be severe.
“That will help us tremendously, so we can expect the surge between 2 and 4 feet at max,” said Durham, who noted the surge level is measured on top of the normal tide. “Hopefully what we’re seeing here is going to be mainly rainfall.”
Franklin County Schools closed early upon advice from emergency management officials, as heavy rainfall and winds up to 55 miles an hour are expected to hit the coast this afternoon.
Durham said isolated areas of Franklin County already had received several inches of rain Thursday morning.
“We’re just asking people to understand there’s a lot of rain coming down and there’s going to be a lot of water on the roads,” Durham said. “At this point in time it is a water event with moderate winds. If you’re moving around, move with caution and as always anytime with rain, slow down.”
Durham said Andrea should be clear from the area by Friday.