KGWN –Cheyenne, WY– Scottsbluff, NE News,Weather, SportsHeavy rains flood homes, jail in Fla. Panhandle
By KELLI KENNEDYAssociated Press
MIAMI (AP) – Floodwaters from torrential rains damaged homes and closed roads throughout the Florida Panhandle, cutting power to the county jail and sending residents to emergency shelters as the area braced for additional rains Sunday.
A tornado connected with the storm system also uprooted trees and destroyed chicken houses Sunday in southeastern Alabama, where an emergency official said a few homes were damaged but no injuries were reported.
“I actually saw it myself coming out of our church door – my first tornado I have ever witnessed,” said Margaret Mixon, emergency management director for rural Geneva County.
More than 600 inmates at the Escambia County Jail in Florida were without power and air conditioning after the rains left more than 5 feet of water in the bottom floor, which also houses the laundry and kitchen facilities. Extra deputies were brought in to beef up security, and generators powered lights outside the facility to shine into the jail. Officials worked Sunday to pump out the excess water and assess the damage.
“The whole electrical system is underwater. It's going to be extensive damage,” said Sgt. Mike Ward.
The parking lot of the sheriff's office was completely flooded, leaving some patrol cars and other fleet vehicles with water up to the hood. Some homes and businesses also had several feet of water inside, he said. Authorities estimated $3 million to $4 million in damages at the sheriff's facilities.
Sunday's rain could have been worse, coming on top of Saturday's record rainfall. after getting more than 13 inches on Saturday, Pensacola only saw another 1.92 inches of rain Sunday. Mobile had 5.79 inches on Saturday and another 2.79 inches Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters originally feared that another 4 to 8 inches would fall Sunday on the coast, but the storm system pulled more of the precipitation farther inland, meteorologist Eric Esbensen said.
“That was a lifesaver,” Esbensen said. “We couldn't handle another day of that.”
More than 100 residents spent the night in three Red Cross shelters in Escambia County on Saturday night, including residents from a 50-unit apartment. Navy officials also set up housing for residents of a 22-home subdivision evacuated because of flooding, according to Red Cross officials.
It was difficult to assess the damage Sunday because many roads in Escambia County were still flooded. Emergency officials planned a more thorough inspection Monday after the waters recede.
Escambia officials asked residents to stay home and not travel as more rainfall was expected Sunday night. much of the water had receded in nearby Santa Rosa County, but the area was under a flood warning.
About 40 homes had some level of flooding around the city of Gulf Breeze, where heavy rains left about 4 feet of water. Fire rescue officials were still assessing the extent of the damage Sunday. One person was rescued from a car stranded in the high waters. Three swimmers were taken to the hospital Saturday night after getting caught in rough waters, Santa Rosa County spokeswoman Joy Tsubooka said.
“I have never seen rain like that before … yesterday it was torrential for extended periods of time, like two or three hours it didn't let up at all,” she said.
A Santa Rosa Sheriff's deputy also reported large amounts of debris after a tornado touched down near a flea market, but there was no major damage to buildings.
A few more showers and thunderstorms were expected along the coast Monday, with 1 to 2 inches of rain possible in some areas. Some clearing could happen later Monday evening, Esbensen said.
Copyright 2012 the associated Press. All rights reserved. this material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
You remember Bobby Valentine, don’t you?
He was the brash, outspoken manager hired by the Boston Red Sox to replace Terry Francona, who won two World Series but apparently had lost the clubhouse.
Valentine might not have any World Series victories in his resume, but he was going to change the country club atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse and lay down the law.
No more chicken and beer.
No more inmates running the asylum.
And whether you like his style or not, Valentine lived up to his reputation when he made a calculated comment about Kevin Youkilis in mid-April, saying the Red Sox third-baseman was not “physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past…”
No one had ever questioned Youkilis’ commitment or passion before; he was the last person that anyone figured Valentine would criticize.
Youkilis said he was confused, and Dustin Pedroia, speaking for his teammates, questioned Valentine’s motives, adding, “that’s really not the way we go about our stuff here. I’m sure he’ll figure that out soon.”
Apparently Valentine got the message. he apologized about his remarks, and then Youkilis went on the disabled list where he remains.
And the tail is wagging the dog again in Boston.
Bobby Valentine questioned Kevin Youkilis’ commitment. Brian Kersey/Getty Images
That’s because the manager has defended Josh Beckett, the supposed ace of the staff who missed a start because of an injury and was out golfing the next day.
Bobby V. said he didn’t know of any players who got injured playing golf.
Maybe not, but he might want to ask Tiger Woods and other PGA pros whether you can suffer knee, back and shoulder injuries playing golf.
Red Sox management has played deaf, dumb and blind to Beckett’s ill-advised off-day venture to the golf course.
Beckett, who was shelled in his next start did not apologize or explain why he decided to play golf when he was too injured to pitch.
“I spend my off-days the way I want to spend them. My off-day is my off-day,” Beckett defiantly told the media in a post-game interview.
Beckett makes around $17 million a year, and the Red Sox are saddled with him for three more years.
He was the ringleader of the beer-and-chicken controversy in which he and other Red Sox starters such as John Lester were eating fried chicken and drinking beer during games in the clubhouse.
This is the equivalent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned because the Red Sox collapsed last September and Beckett was unable to play the role of stopper.
It cost Francona his job and all he did was win two World Series and end the Curse of the Bambino.
The September collapse has led to a 2012 hangover. The hole the Red Sox are digging isn’t too deep yet.
Things should improve when Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury return from the DL.
There’s always the hope that Carl Crawford might be available during the second half of the year.
But you have to wonder about the pitching staff and what is going on between Beckett’s ears.
Ownership and the front office have failed to scold Beckett for playing golf when he was too injured to pitch; Valentine has gone out of his way to defend him.
They might as well put chicken and beer back on the clubhouse menu.
The Red Sox will have to make the playoffs despite themselves.