Debbie Batters Florida, Threatens More Flooding

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Tropical Storm Debby continues to maul the Florida coast and it could dump another foot of rain on the state.

Torrential rains have caused massive flooding and forecasters say another six to 12 inches are expected.

Weather officials said the storm could come along Florida's northwestern coast on Wednesday and track slowly across the state. The storm is expected to exit along the Atlantic coast by Saturday morning and lose steam along the way.

"The widespread flooding is the biggest concern," Florida Emergency Operations spokeswoman Julie Roberts said.

"It's a concern that Debbie is going to be around for the next couple of days, and while it sits there, it's going to continue to drop rain," she continued. "The longer it sits there, the more rain we get."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a statewide emergency. The move will allow authorities to put laws against price-gouging into effect and override bureaucratic hurdles to deal with the storm.

Debby has already been blamed for at least one death in Florida over the weekend and another person is missing in Alabama after disappearing in rough surf.

High winds from the storm knocked out power to 35,000 homes and businesses. One county just south of Tallahassee saw more than 20 inches of rain fall in just 24 hours.

Near Tampa, entire neighborhoods have been submerged by flooding

"I've never thought the same road we drive on every day, I'd be paddling up and down it," one Florida resident said.

Gov. Rick Scott urged safety.

"Everybody needs to be very, very, very cautious," he admonished. "Don't take anything for granted."

The National Hurricane Center said the storm could also produce isolated tornadoes across the state.

Related Link:

National Weather Service

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