WASHINGTON AND HOLMES COUNTIES - Emergency management officials say drivers should avoid driving down roads that have standing water.

"When there is water standing in the road, we say 'turn around, don't drown,'" said Washington County Emergency Management Coordinator Connie Welch. "We've seen vehicles literally get washed down towards the drain."

Washington and Holmes are two of the Northwest Florida Panhandle counties currently under a flash flood watch. The National Weather Service of Tallahassee issued the watch yesterday evening through tomorrow evening.

Other counties under the watch include Bay, Calhoun, Walton, Gulf, Jackson and Holmes.

Already, the torrential rains have led to road closures in Vernon.

In a 1:30 p.m. news release today, the Washington County Public Works advised Armstrong Mill Road at Jackson Community Road is closed and barricaded. Officials advised drivers along Armstrong Mill Road should exit through Millers Ferry Road and Jackson Community Road drivers should exit through Sugardoll Road to State Road 79.

Only local traffic is allowed in that area, the release stated.

As of 1:30 p.m. today, Holmes County had not reported any road closures. However, Holmes County Emergency Management Coordinator Wendy Mayo said the rain is still a threat to safety.

"The rain is expected to continue through Friday across our area and flash flooding will be the primary concern and threat," Mayo said. She warned drivers that if they "come on an area that's flooded to not attempt to go through, to turn around and find a different route."

Contact the Washington County Emergency Management Office online at washingtonfl.com or call (850) 638-6203. For the Holmes County Emergency Management Office, visit holmescountyem.org or call 850 547-1112.