There are two words that summarize the July Fourth holiday that was and the weekend ahead: hot and soggy.
On Friday morning, a flash flood watch remained in effect for southeast Alabama, portions of Georgia and the Florida Panhandle, the National Weather Service said. The Panhandle is expected to get wetter into Saturday.
Panama City Beach, Florida, was slammed with some of the worst flooding residents have seen in a long time. The area got 4.24 inches of rain in a short amount of time, the National Weather Service reported.
“The flooding was ridiculous,” Bay County Sheriff’s Sgt. Billy Byrd told CNN on Friday. “We had roads and bridges out for the majority of the holiday.”
The flooding was so bad that the fire department used boats to rescue dozens of county residents from flooded homes in low-lying areas, he said. Most went to stay with family members and were back at home Friday because the rain and flooding had subsided.
Panama City even managed to carry on with its fireworks program when the rain let up.
Sandbagging in Florida
Lynn Haven, north of Panama City, wasn’t as lucky and had to postpone its celebration until later this summer, Byrd said.
Video shot by CNN affiliate WMBB showed nothing but flooded streets.
“As I was driving around Lynn Haven, one gentleman stopped me and said he has lived on Minnesota Avenue for nearly 20 years and has never seen the flooding this bad,” CNN affiliate WMBB’s Chris Marchand reported.
Some residents with flooded yards even had to wedge sandbags in their front doors, WMBB said, and some residents just gave up trying to drive through the flooded streets and parked their cars in the road. At one point, Marchand said, he saw a man walking through knee-deep water.
In the Southeast, the eastern Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley are hoping for a break from the rain this weekend.
That’s probably unlikely, the National Weather Service says, because there’s a large plume of moisture from the Tropics converging across the Southeast northward toward the Great Lakes.
A break ahead for California
Is there good news in this weather story? Sort of. It should cool down across the Pacific Northwest over the next few days. And the extreme heat that California has been experiencing is expected to break on Saturday, the weather service said.
Parts of the state are still under an excessive heat warning, with temperatures hovering in the lower 100s, CNN meteorologist Melissa Lefevre said.
Sizzling in Boston
The Northeast is continuing to sweat it out. It’s going to be very hot in Boston on Friday, with a high predicted at 102 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
There is heat advisory for the Boston area in effect from 11 am to 8 p.m. ET Friday. It should be hottest between 2 and 6 p.m., the weather service said.
The city lists cooling centers that might help everyone stay safe.
The city’s Elderly Commission made robocalls to 30,000 Boston seniors, advising them of precautions to take to deal with the heat. The calls provided the number to Mayor Thomas Menino’s 24-hour hotline: 617-635-4500.