Tropical Depression Forms Over Gulf Of Mexico, Forecast To Become Tropical Storm

June 1, 2023

A tropical depression has formed over the northern Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola and is forecast to become a short-lived tropical storm in the coming hours.

Recent satellite wind data, along with buoy and ship observations indicate the area of low pressure over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico has a broad but well-defined circulation with maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph. Shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the low is also showing signs of organization.

Environmental conditions remain marginally favorable for additional development.

The system is likely to meander over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight but begin a slow southward motion on Friday. By this weekend, environmental conditions are forecast to become unfavorable for additional development as the system continues moving southward, likely remaining offshore over the Gulf of Mexico.

Regardless of development, the area is expected to bring a chance of rain to the Escambia County area, along with a high risk of rip currents.

Lane Closures To Last Another Month On $4.7 Million Highway 29 Project In Century

June 1, 2023

Work on a $4.7 million Highway 29 construction in Century remains delayed weeks discovery of an unmapped water pipe that must be relocated.

Early this year, two northbound travel lanes and the center turn lane were closed between Hatties Boulevard and East Cottage Street with traffic shifted into just two lanes. The Florida Department of Transportation said a normal four-lane traffic pattern would return by the end of April, but that was put on hold until about the end of May. And now, FDOT says the target date has been pushed out to the end of June to reopen all four lanes.

The total project has an anticipated completion target date in January 2024.  FDOT will also upgrade traffic signals, drainage structures, pavement markings, and driveways, while also improving curb ramps and sidewalks to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

What the Florida Department of Transportation termed an “unknown Town of Century¬†water main” was discovered under the roadway during excavation. Century’s engineer said the problem pipe is a 2-inch water main, and there were no service disruptions anticipated during the work.

Pictured: Highway 29 traffic in Century remains at two lanes in a construction zone. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Cantonment Man Had Psychedelic Mushrooms During Traffic Stop, ECSO Says

June 1, 2023

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said a Cantonment man has psychedelic mushrooms in his possession during a traffic stop.

Sheldon Lee Blackburn, 43, was charged with possession of a Schedule I narcotic (psilocybin), possession of drug paraphernalia and knowingly driving with a suspended license.

A deputy stopped Blackburn for an expired tag at a convenience store on Highway 29 at West Roberts Road. K-9 Ray was deployed and positively alerted on the vehicle.

A backpack containing 9.9 grams of mushrooms that field tested positive for psilocybin was found in the vehicle, according to an arrest report. Deputies said a digital scale with presumptively positive cocaine residue was also in the vehicle; the powder was submitted for further testing.

Blackburn told deputies he does not use psychedelic mushrooms “and that he doesn’t even eat mushrooms on his pizza”, the ECSO report states. He said the backpack and mushrooms were not his and that the backpack had been used by his roommate.

Blackburn remained in the Escambia County Jail Thursday morning with bond set at $4,500.