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The original item was published from 10/27/2020 8:17:54 AM to 11/7/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: October 26, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Santa Rosa County under Tropical Storm Watch and Surge Watch for Hurricane Zeta

Oct. 26, 4 p.m. - Per the National Hurricane Center, Zeta strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane at 2:10 p.m. Santa Rosa County is now under a tropical storm watch and surge watch. A watch is issued when conditions pose a possible threat generally within 48 hours. A watch does not mean conditions will occur, only that these conditions are possible. Any decision regarding county office closures or school closure will be made on Tuesday.

Emergency Management officials continue to closely monitor Zeta. While potential impacts are still too early to determine, residents are reminded to follow the National Weather Service and local media outlets for the most recent weather updates. The National Weather Service of Mobile is forecasting potential local impacts from Zeta to include dangerous surf, strong winds, coastal flooding, heavy rain and possible tornadoes. Most of the impacts will occur Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night. Details regarding the area of greatest risks and impacts will be refined as confidence increases.

Sand is being replenished at the county's regular locations as well as three additional locations highlighted below – residents should provide their own sandbags, shovel and manpower: 

  • The corner of Citrus and Leisure streets in Navarre
  • Tiger Point Community Center, 1370 Tiger Park Ln. in Midway/Gulf Breeze
  • Pace Fire Rescue, 4773 Pace Patriot Blvd. in Pace
  • The corner of Carroll and Pine Forest in Milton
  • Allentown Volunteer Fire Department, 9482 Hwy. 89 in Allentown
  • Chumuckla Park - 2355 Highway 182
  • East Milton Park, 8605 Bobby Brown Road in East Milton

Bags are available for purchase (generally 50 cents each) at: 

  • Hall’s Hardware in Milton
  • Ace in Pace and Navarre
  • Lowe’s in Pea Ridge/Pace and Gulf Breeze

What residents can do now to prepare

  • Residents are encouraged to secure homes as much as possible prior to any potential impact from Zeta. Tarps are available at most local hardware stores.
  • Know your evacuation zone! Visit and type in your complete street address. If you need assistance, call 850-983-INFO (4636).
  • Sign up for emergency alerts at
  • With the chance of tropical storm force winds, bring in or secure items which could blow away including lawn furniture, wind chimes, swings and bird feeders while it is not raining.

Evacuations and shelters

  • No evacuation orders have been issued at this time.
  • Make sure you and your family have a plan for where you will go if evacuations are called for your home - and make sure your plan includes your pets. 
  • If you are in the south end, remember Hwy. 87 South is a good alternative to Garcon Point Bridge/Avalon Blvd. for those traveling north. 
  • If there is an evacuation order, residents will be notified through a variety of means of communications including alerts to, a free subscription service for residents which allows subscribers to enter multiple addresses and customize the different types of desired emergency notifications.
  • Alerts will also be sent to cell phones through the FCC's wireless emergency alert (WEA) system and FEMA's integrated public alert and warning system (IPAWS).
  • In addition to the alerts, which are limited in length, Santa Rosa County Public Information also sends more comprehensive news releases to subscribers and media. Visit to choose the updates you would like to receive.
  • Residents can also follow Santa Rosa County Emergency Management on Facebook, Nextdoor and Twitter.
  • If there is a call for evacuations or if tropical storm force winds are anticipated, the county will open shelters as needed. Sheltering for special needs and pets will be available.
  • Shelters are not comfortable places. Residents are highly encouraged to shelter with friends or family.
  • If you have any questions, give us a call at 983-INFO (4636). 


  • Hurricane Sally left an estimated 1,050,000 cubic yards of debris to collect. With 5,000 roads in the county, this is expected to take 90 days. Check the status of debris collection at
  • Residents who do not want to wait for the contractor to pick up their vegetative debris can take it to the Central Landfill, 6337 Da Lisa Rd. in Milton, at no cost Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Crews have been collecting debris throughout the county sunup to sundown, seven days a week since Sept. 24 barring any inclement weather.
  • It is expected to take a total of five weeks to finish the first pass and there will be multiple passes. Residents will be notified before the second and then final pass so sign up for news updates at
  • Residents are asked to notify the county of any debris blocking drainage infrastructure or roads, through the citizen work request form at

For current weather events, visit For information on preparing for disasters, visit

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