Gov. Scott declares Panhandle a state of emergency due to rain, flooding

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for 26 Florida Panhandle and north Florida counties that have been hard-hit by torrential rain.

Scott issued the proclamation early Wednesday and mobilized the Florida National Guard to help.

Heavy rains started falling over the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday, drenching parts of Pensacola with between 15 and 20 inches of rain.

The Florida Highway Patrol says one person died in Pensacola late Tuesday. Officials in Escambia County say many were stranded in their cars and people climbed to the attics of their homes waiting to be rescued.

Parts of Interstate 10 north of Pensacola were also closed on Wednesday.

The National Guard is sending high-wheeled vehicles to Pensacola on Wednesday to assist with rescues.

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