Mon., Sept. 26, 2:30 p.m. - Santa Rosa County Public Safety is currently monitoring Hurricane Ian. Hurricane Ian is forecast to continue strengthening as it moves north-northwest into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday according to the US National Weather Service in Mobile. A north-northeastward motion is forecast on Wednesday and Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida Wednesday into Thursday.
Swell associated with Ian will likely lead to deadly rip currents and dangerous surf along with rapidly building seas offshore by midweek. Surf heights could build to six to nine feet along Navarre Beach Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night.
Minor coastal flooding is possible along Gulf facing barrier island due to high surf and wave runup.
State of Florida actions:
Tolls for the Garcon Point Bridge have been suspended until further notice.
Gulf Islands National Seashore:
The Gulf Islands National Seashore closed the Florida areas of the park to all visitors on Sun., Sept. 25. Closed areas include the Fort Pickens Area, Perdido Key Area (Johnson Beach), Opal Beach, and Okaloosa Area. The Mississippi Area, Naval Live Oaks Area, and Highway 399 will remain open at this time.
All reservations for the Fort Pickens Campground will be canceled until further notice.
Santa Rosa County actions:
The county's public works department has sand available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the following locations:
Residents must provide their own sandbags and shovel. Bags can be purchased at many local hardware stores. For information on how to make and use sandbags, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. While sandbags can help mitigate to an extent, buying flood insurance is the best protection against flood loss.
What residents can do now:
For current weather events, visit www.weather.gov/mob. For information on preparing for disasters, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency.
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