The Melbourne area, on Florida’s east coast, is getting absolutely pummeled right now by Tropical Storm Fay’s soaking rains, as the storm’s southern rain bands — which seem to be intensifying — “train” over the region, dumping 1-2 inches an hour in some spots.
As Alan Sullivan explains, this is particularly problematic because:
Fay spent yesterday and last evening battering the central Florida coast with its outer, northeastern convection. During the night Fay drifted NE to Cape Canaveral. Now … [it has] grabbed more moisture off the Atlantic while hovering near the coast, and it has wrapped that new plume around its widening center. The heaviest rains are currently falling along the south rim of the aforementioned ring — in the same area as before. Melbourne appears to be the epicenter of the rain event. Ten inches have fallen at the airport. I have no doubt that major flooding is under way in east central Florida, and the situation is getting worse.
Radar-estimated storm totals are now 10-15 inches and climbing. And, for the moment, Fay’s not going anywhere. The National Hurricane Center’s 2pm EDT advisory declares that the storm has “stalled,” and radar confirms this. Forecasters say “Fay is expected to resume a slow northward motion later today,” but it’s anybody’s guess precisely when that will happen.
In the mean time, although Fay has weakened considerably at last in terms of wind and pressure, her rains remain unrelenting — and dangerous. The local office of National Weather Service in Melbourne is vigorously sounding the alarm, as of 1:46 PM EDT:
…EXTREME FLOODING EXPECTED FOR BREVARD COUNTY AND EAST OSCEOLA COUNTY…
. . . THIS IS A HISTORIC AND HAZARDOUS RAINFALL EVENT ACROSS THE AREA! LIFE AND PROPERTY ARE IN JEOPARDY!
THERE IS AN EXTREME THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY FOR THE LOCAL AREA FROM HEAVY RAIN…WITH THE LIKELIHOOD FOR LOCALLY HIGHER RAINFALL TOTALS TO WELL EXCEED FLASH FLOOD GUIDANCE. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR BREVARD AND EAST OSCEOLA COUNTIES. RAINFALL AMOUNTS MAY REACH AS MUCH AS 30 INCHES FOR EVENT TOTALS…WITH ANOTHER 5 TO 10 INCHES EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON!
ACTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN…NOW… FOR AN EXTREME IMPACT FROM INLAND FLOODING! SCATTERED LOCATIONS MAY EXPERIENCE MAJOR FLOODING…AMONG MANY LOCATIONS OF MINOR TO MODERATE FLOODING IN BREVARD AND EAST OSCEOLA COUNTIES! FLOODING WILL BE FURTHER ACCENTUATED IN LOW LYING SPOTS AND NEAR RIVERS AND LAKES!
TAKE ACTION NOW TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROERPTY! DO NOT GO OUT ONTO THE ROADWAYS…AS DRAINAGE DITCHES AND RETENTION PONDS ARE OVERFLOWING IN BREVARD COUNTY! THE ROADS ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE AND IT IS VERY DANGEROUS TO DRIVE! DO NOT DRIVE ACROSS PLACES WHERE WATER OF UNKNOWN DEPTH COVERS THE ROAD AS THEY MAY BE WASHED OUT!
Fay is eventually expected to turn northwestward. Folks in Melbourne just hope it goes somewhere.