CHIPLEY — The Washington County Board Commissioners has declared a Local State of Emergency.
Washington County Citizens are strongly urged to stay off all roadways throughout the evening and limit travel to essential only.
Monday morning Highway 77 was closed at Blue Lake just south of Chipley due to the lake overflowing onto the highway. The Blue Pond Community Center was completely surrounded by water, and county officials were on hand to determine the damage to the facility.
All county roads are subject to flooding and traveling at this time is extremely dangerous. Public Works personnel are unable to keep up with the demand in responding to each flooded area and place barricades.
Do not assume roads are safe because there are no warnings signs posted. Please consider your safety and the safety of others by remaining off county roads this evening.
Washington County Schools are closed today due to the road conditions.
Washington County School officials met with Public Works and Emergency Management personnel at 2 p.m. on Sunday to discuss deteriorating road conditions and school bus travel.
Continued flash flooding and the potential for more rain has caused dangerous road conditions in Washington County forcing school officials to make the decision to close schools on Monday, August 19.
School transportation and County Public Works personnel will do road assessments on Monday to determine if further delays are necessary.
Holmes County Schools were also closed on Monday due to the flooding situation, according to a news release from the Holmes County Emergency Management Office.
“We strongly urge all residents to travel only when necessary,” the release stated. “This is an extremely dangerous situation.”
Chipola College will be open Monday, Aug. 19, for the first day of classes. Late registration is also Monday, Aug. 19, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and continues through noon on Aug. 20. The drop/add period continues through noon, Friday, Aug. 23.
Chipola president Dr. Gene Prough, says, “We are open for business Monday, but we want our students to use good judgment in deciding whether to travel in hazardous conditions. We encourage our faculty to be understanding with students who do not feel safe driving to the college.”