Meteorologists and forecasters in the US are warning people planning to spend time outdoors over the long 4th of July weekend to pay close attention to local weather reports. There is a very serious flash flood threat now in the works from parts of Florida northward up into the Appalachians just as many Americans are planning to hit the beaches, campgrounds and hiking trails. Already portions of Florida and Georgia are seeing a whole lot of rain. Over 9.5 inches have fallen already in the Panhandle of Florida with portions of Georgia getting up to six inches Wednesday, putting many roadways under water and leaving home and business owners feeling very nervous about possible flooding which could be devastating.

What is causing all these flood concerns is a weather pattern over the mid-section of the United States that’s bringing rich gulf moisture into the southwest. This is causing heavy thunderstorms with torrential rainfall across parts of Alabama, Georgia, Florida,eastern Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina. The amount of rain that comes down through Friday could be substantial which could result in very significant flash flooding as the ground is already saturated in these areas.

It’s going to be a blazing hot 4th of July weekend in the West while the Southeast and the Ohio River Valley regions are going to be drenched with rain that could result in serious and even life-threatening floods. The heaviest rain that will fall on Thursday is expected to come down from the central Gulf Coast region northward into the Ohio River Valley.

In Florida’s Sarasota County, there were numerous reports of road flooding and closures Wednesday as torrential rainfall fell there. Emergency Management officials in Florida are warning people to keep an eye on the weather forecast over the Independence Day weekend as heavy rains could prompt many flood warnings and even evacuation orders. There is already a lot of standing water in yards and parking lots in Lee County and Charlotte County.

Homeowners in the Indigo Isles neighborhood near Lemon Bay were awakened in he middle of the night Tuesday by thunderstorms and heavy rains which made their homes look like houseboats. In just four hours’ time, the water levels rose so high there that folks could not get their vehicles out of their drives to make their morning commute. In East Naples which is in Collier County, Florida, residents were being warned Wednesday to prepare for significant and even “massive” flooding as that area has already received several inches of rain with many more being predicted to fall.

Updated: July 5, 2013 — 2:39 pm

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