As the first system to affect the area for the 2022 tropical season approaches, Southwest Florida residents are preparing for the torrential rainfall over the weekend.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the entire region, with flood watches in effect through at least Saturday night. This system is expected to strengthen to Tropical Storm Alex as it moves toward Florida on Friday.
According to reports, as much as 19 inches of rain is predicted in some areas and gusty winds of 40 to 55 mph.
The biggest threat from the storm is flash flooding, so communities have been taking precautionary measures to mitigate the impact.
Forecasters predict this system will be fast-moving, leaving Florida by Saturday afternoon.
Remember - "turn around, don't drown" - a small amount of moving water can quickly overtake a vehicle. Also, remember not to walk or wade through flooded areas. Besides not knowing about the presence of snakes, debris, and other hazards, these standing areas of water can hold bacteria and parasites that can make a person sick.