South Flood Threat to Continue Beyond Fourth of July

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
July 6, 2013; 4:38 AM ET
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A plume of moisture surging northward from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea will bring widespread tropical downpours to a large part of the Southeast through the holiday weekend.

Some cities that have the highest potential for flooding on multiple days through the weekend include Tampa, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; London, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va. and Pensacola, Fla.

Some locations have seen as much as eight inches of rain since Thursday from this moist flow from the Gulf of Mexico.

RELATED: Severe Weather Center
Mid-Atlantic: Much Less Rainy for July Fourth Weekend
Southeast Flooding to Persist for Weekend Reaching Pensacola, New Orleans meteorologists are especially concerned for dangerous flash flooding along the western Florida Panhandle and across parts of central Tennessee and central Kentucky.

While widespread river flooding is not likely from this event, there is considerable concern for rapid, dangerous flash flooding of low-lying areas, urban areas, areas with poor drainage and along smalls streams.

Numerous blinding downpours will cause severe restrictions to normal driving speed as low visibility and water-logged roadways bring the risk of hydroplaning.

Those traveling I-65 in Alabama, I-40 in Tennessee or I-10 in the Florida Panhandle will likely endure significant delays this afternoon and evening.

Arrival and departure delays at major airports like Atlanta's Hartsfield International may also be common, especially as drenching storms engulf the region in the afternoon and evening hours.

This situation has the potential to be particularly dangerous in some areas. It is important to remember that flash flooding can be life-threatening. Not every location will have flash flooding, and some areas may not receive much rainfall at all, but that will not be the case in other, less lucky locations.

Tremendous rainfall in a short amount of time can cause flooding in areas that you might not even think can flood. Yards and basements can become more like lakes and swimming pools. In towns with hilly terrain, streets can easily be turned into rushing rivers.

It only takes a few inches of swift-moving water to sweep a person from his feet and only 18 inches to lift a vehicle and wash it away.


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