Tropical Storm Claudette Soaks Fla. Panhandle

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2009 5:37 PM CDT
UPDATES as of 5 p.m. EDT; graphic shows the locations and projected paths of Tropical Storms Ana, Bill and Claudette
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(Newser) – Tropical Storm Claudette lashed the Florida Panhandle with heavy rain today and is expected to make landfall by midnight, the Pensacola News Journal reports. Moving northwest at 14 mph with maximum winds near 50 mph, the storm will likely land between Panama City and Destin. Authorities have put the area under a flash flood watch until 7pm tomorrow and warned of possible tornadoes.

“People are pretty calm, although you do have people that are aware of this storm and the other two that are behind it,” said one local, referring to Tropical Storms Ana and Bill, which are moving west in the Atlantic. Bill is intensifying and could become a hurricane by tonight or tomorrow, the AP reports; Ana has simmered down into a depression.