Published: Sep 24, 2013 3:01 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 24, 2013 3:42 PM EDT

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -  The City of Punta Gorda is experiencing heavy rainstorms with subsequent flooding of several streets. Several streets in the downtown area have been restricted to local traffic or are closed.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the area until tomorrow. 

Motorists are encouraged to avoid driving through the flooded streets.  Deep water can carry a vehicle off the roadway, in addition to causing serious vehicle damage.  Motorists may not be able to accurately read the depth perceptions or see hazards below the water.

•Sandbags can be found at your local home improvement or hardware stores throughout the county.  Charlotte County does not provide sandbags.

Residents are advised to follow these few safety tips during the next few days:

•Avoid roads already flooded or which are susceptible to flooding.

•Road may be washed out under flood waters. “Turn Around Don’t Drown” when you encounter a flooded road.

•Water clarity and lighting conditions conceal the condition of the roadway beneath you and can also conceal a damaged roadway

•Use caution during this time, reptiles such as snakes and alligators can migrate to areas outside their normal habitat.

•Parental supervision is a must.  Parents should be aware that children can easily drown in small bodies of water as well as be exposed to bacteria that can be hazardous to their health.

Stay tuned to WINK News for more information.