Gov. Rick Scott said Monday Isaac caused minimal damage in the Keys and South Florida and he was now worried about flooding and tornadoes in the Panhandle. "The Western part of the Panhandle could see over 24 hours of constant rain and tropical storm force winds," Scott said. "We're going to have some damage in the Panhandle. We already have that part of the state saturated."
Schools in South Florida were closed Monday, a day after Tropical Storm Isaac skirted the region, bringing high winds and plenty of rain to the Florida Keys and the metro area.
Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said school would resume Tuesday but that crews continued scouring the buildings for damage. He said 336 schools reported no problems, 19 were undergoing assessments and one school - Melrose Elementary - did not have power.
"All of our schools are reporting very favorably," Carvalho said. "We are good to go first thing tomorrow morning."
He said shelters at the schools would close down Monday in time for school, buses would run as scheduled and that the kitchens would remain operational.
"Everybody will be back in session tomorrow," he said.
Isaac was expected to strengthen and become a hurricane either Monday night or early Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
As of 11 p.m. Monday, Isaac maximum sustained winds of 70 mph as it moved northwest at 10 mph about 255 miles south-southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi and 190 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
The center of Isaac was expected to approach the coast of southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday night.
The National Hurricane Center said a significant storm surge threat is expected for the northern Gulf Coast.
Isaac is bringing heavy rains and flooding to the east coast, and Isaac's outer bands can produce up to 15 or 20 inches of rain in some areas.
Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday Isaac caused minimal damage in the Keys and South Florida and he was now worried about flooding and tornadoes in the Panhandle.
"The Western part of the Panhandle could see over 24 hours of constant rain and tropical storm force winds," Scott said. "We're going to have some damage in the Panhandle. We already have that part of the state saturated."
Ongoing showers shifting from south to north will deliver several inches of rain to local communities. The rain will continue to trail over affected areas into the afternoon. Travelers should beware the possibility of flooded roads.
Downpours continued Monday across portions of South Florida because of the to the outer rain bands of Tropical Storm Isaac. Although Tropical Storm warnings were dropped for all local areas before noon, blustery conditions were expected to accompany these heavy showers.
A wind advisory was in effect for Miami-Dade and Broward until 6 p.m. with gusts in excess of 35 mph likely.
The counter clockwise rotation around Isaac will cause persistent showers, a term called “training.” Though bands should diminish Monday night, lingering moisture will hold showers in the forecast again Tuesday. Conditions will gradually brighten mid and late week with mostly dry weather expected Thursday and Friday.
The South Florida Water Management District operate the region's flood control system to reduce flooding where possible. Some areas of the region got as much as 12 inches of rain and about 4 more inches were expected throughout the day.
In Monroe County, public schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Monroe’s government offices, sheriff administrative offices and the courthouses will also be closed Monday.
Public schools will also be closed in Miami-Dade and Broward counties Monday.
Officials at Miami International Airport reported 158 flights had been cancelled and 117 flights had been delayed as of 5 p.m. Monday. At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, officials said 12 flights in total had been cancelled and another 11 were delayed.
Miami-Dade officials said the entire MetroBus system is in service, with delays and detours due to debris. The entire Metrorail and Metromover systems are in service and PortMiami is expected to reopen later Monday, officials said.
Isaac was getting a little better organized early Monday as it continued to move through the eastern Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Forecasters expected that it could become a hurricane Monday or Tuesday, and make landfall somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and metro New Orleans on Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The governors of Mississippi and Louisiana declared a state of emergency for their respective states on Sunday.
There was a hurricane warning was in effect for east of Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama- Florida border, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas and a hurricane watch in effect for Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Aucilla River Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.
Scott said tropical storm force winds could reach the Panhandle Monday night and bring up to 15 inches of rain and 3 to 6 inches of storm surge.
"Tropical Storm Debbie already saturated that part of the state," Scott said.
In South Florida, the U.S. District Courts in Key West, Miami and Fort Lauderdale will be closed Monday, as will the Miami-Dade courts and clerk of courts’ offices.
Additional offices, including all Miami-Dade County Health Department offices and clinics, and Department of Children and Families locations in Broward, will be closed Monday.
Schools in Palm Beach County will closed on Tuesday.
Colleges including Miami-Dade, the University of Miami and Barry University will also remain closed for the day.
Isaac has claimed the lives of 19 people in Haiti and two people in Dominican Republic, according to government officials.
Two people died in Dominican Republic after they were swept away in a river.
Some of the Haitians died because their homes fell on top of them.