This week’s ongoing rainfall is heaviest in St. Lucie and Martin counties, where a flood watch in effect until 7 p.m.
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January’s rainfall at the Fort Pierce Water Treatment Plant is the second highest in more than a century, according to National Weather Service records. A total of 10.51 inches has fallen through Thursday morning, second only to 13.56 inches recorded in 2014. Fort Pierce’s records date back to 1901.
Vero Beach also is close to surpassing its January rainfall record. Thursday morning, the city had 7.71 inches for the month, making it the second highest amount of rainfall in January. The city’s records date back to the 1940s. The all-time high was 9.08 inches in 1957.
Historic records don’t exist for Martin County, and the weather service does not measure rainfall there.
The weather will clear out overnight Thursday as a cold front finishes moving through. Skies are expected clear this weekend. Saturday’s high is to be 69 after an early morning low of 45.
The current seven-day forecast doesn’t include any more cold fronts.
On Wednesday, Vero Beach had 2.25 inches of rain — a daily record.
Wednesday’s heaviest rain fell in at the St. Lucie/Martin counties line near Jensen Beach: 4.72 inches, according to a National Weather Service observer.
Meteorologist Dave Sharp said several reports in that area ranged from 3.5 inches to the 4.72 in Jensen Beach.
To the south, the weather spawned a tornado in Broward County that affected multiple vehicles and drivers on Florida’s Turnpike, including a man from Palm City.
10:45 a.m.: A tornado warning was issued for Palm Beach County until 11 a.m.
Several accidents around the Treasure Coast Thursday morning caused some delays, especially on I-95 in Martin County.
2:15 p.m.: Martin County Engineering staff is addressing flooding in vulnerable areas, including Jensen Beach, near Savannas State Park, where the 5,200 acre wetland that extends into St. Lucie County has received significant rainfall.
Neighborhoods around Northeast Hyline Drive have remained dry due to a pump system and other drainage structure blocks that Martin County set up Wednesday.
Noon: Swales in Port St. Lucie currently are at their capacity, according to the city’s Public Works Department, according to Public Works Manager Linda Bagley.
As of noon Thursday, no major flooding on main roadways has been reported and there is slight flooding on secondary roads, Bagley said.
Potholes have been reported throughout the city and three crews are working around the clock to address washouts. Motorists are asked to call 911 to report any potholes.
7:55 a.m.: Large potholes reported in both north and southbound lanes on Rosser Boulevard before the curve at Southwest Paar Drive.
7:30 a.m.: 8 inches of water reported on Northwest Torch Court at Northwest Omega Road in Port St. Lucie.
7 a.m.: Turn lane flooded on U.S. 1 across from Treasure Coast Square mall in Jensen Beach.
Catherine Chaney, St. Lucie County Fire District spokeswoman, said the evening and morning rains left roads and highways wet. ”There are a lot of puddles that have turned into ponds, and a lot of ponds that have turned into lakes,” she said.
Still, Chaney said, the increased water had not created any significant traffic-related issues as of early Thursday morning.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE DISCHARGES
The Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday it plans to send a mix of Lake Okeechobee water and local runoff totaling about 756.2 million gallons a day into the St. Lucie River.
12:28 p.m.: Outage affect 111 customers in the area of C.R. 716 and Southeast Veterans Memorial Parkway
12:23 p.m.: Outage affecting 9 customers on State Road 60 just east of I-95.
7:47 a.m.: FPL reports an outage affecting 22 customers around Orange Avenue and Godfrey Road.
Several smaller outages have been reported in Roseland, west St. Lucie County and west Martin County.