'This is Mother Nature': July proves to be second wettest on record (PHOTOS)

Matt Algarin
Lauren Abbruzzesi of Texas took this photo from the 12th floor condo at the Palms of Destin. “Luckily I had been there for 3 weeks in June before I left in July so I had a great time,” she wrote The Log

July in Destin has seen its highest rainfall total since 1975, when 19.88-inches of rain fell on the city.

"This is the first time I ever remember it raining this much," said lifelong Destin resident and current City Councilman Cyron Marler. "We've had maybe a week (of rain) or two weeks, but there was usually a day or two between with no rain."

For the month of July, a total of 17.54-inches of rain drenched the city, according Weather Station Destin. This was the second wettest July on record and the city saw 10.24-inches more than the monthly average of rainfall.

And while the tremendous amount of rain flooded a few streets throughout the city, Councilwoman Sandy Trammell said the city has taken great strides over the years to improve its stormwater systems.

"We've done a lot for this town when it comes to stormwater," she said. "How do you plan for a July like this though?"

"This is Mother Nature," Trammell added.

Historically, the intersection of Indian Bayou Drive and Country Club Drive in Destin is prone to flooding, and there were no exceptions this month as residents took to their paddleboards as the roadway flooded. More than 3 million gallons of water was pumped out of the area, according to the city's public services department.

Since 1940, which is when rainfall totals date back to in Destin, there have been five occasions where the city has received more than 19 inches of rainfall. These events occurred in 1957 (23.27 inches), twice in 1975 (19.88 inches and 21.39 inches), and in 1991 (19.97 inches), and in 1998 (33.74 inches).

The 20-plus inches of rain that fell in September 1975 can be associated with Hurricane Eloise, which came ashore near Panama City Beach as a Category 3 storm.

Hurricane Georges drenched the Emerald Coast in 1998, coming ashore as a Category 2 storm along the Panhandle.

"I can remember, I was working in the resort business at the time," Mayor Sam Seevers told The Log. "It was killing us. It just rained and rained and rained."

The four-day period from July 3-6 this year saw 11.18-inches of rain fall, which is second only to a six-day period during Hurricane Georges, where 21.78-inches of rain fell.

"Some of the water sports businesses and charter boats probably suffered a bit," Seevers said. "But it was great for the local retailers and restaurants."