The governor’s office issued a state of emergency, voluntary evacuations were ordered and sandbags were set to be hand out.
Then by the next advisory, things seemed to be up in the air and by Saturday night, Debby’s path was once again heading northeast to Florida, particularly the state’s panhandle.
By Monday morning, Debby’s outer bands began whipping the state of Florida with drenching rains while the center weakened and stayed relatively stationary in the Gulf of Mexico, which means the most pressing threat from Debby was flooding not wind damage.
Tropical storm warnings and watches remain in effect for most of Florida’s Gulf coast while they were discontinued for other states’ coasts like Louisiana and Alabama.
Debby has also already caused one death in Florida while another person has gone missing in the rough surf off of Alabama’s coat.
And with Debby’s center 90 miles off of Florida’s coast by Monday morning and not seeming to want to move, landfall isn’t expected until Thursday night/Friday morning, meaning low-lying neighborhoods along the Florida coast have been asked to evacuate to higher ground.
Debby has proven to be a nuisance not only to the state of Florida but forecasters as well as the storm’s sporadic path has made it hard to track and predict, which points to the unpredictable nature of tropical storms.
“There are always going to be errors in making predictions. There is never going to be a perfect forecast,” said Chris Landsea, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.