T.S. Warning continues for Bay area coast; more wind & showers Tuesday

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 12:01 AM EDT
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Tropical Storm Debby continues to impact the Bay area as the storm inches closer to northwest Florida.

A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect from the Suwanee River to Englewood. That includes Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee counties. A flood watch is in effect for the entire Bay area until late Tuesday.

"It looks like Debby will be affecting us for a few more days," said Bay News 9 Meteorologist Alan Winfield.

Showers will be on-again, off-again throughout the overnight hours. Rain chances remain high this week.

The area will continue to see gusty winds. Wind gusts at the St. Pete Pier were up to 45 mph Monday night. So far, there is no damage reported at the landmark.

Strong winds tore half the roof off of a Madeira Beach townhome on Gulf Boulevard, which was closed for a couple hours while crews cleared the roadway.

"It's dangerous. You got a 25-foot long piece of metal that's 20-feet wide come flying off a roof and cut somebody in half, easy," said Dave Heeder, roofing contractor.

The Sunshine Skyway remains shut down due to high winds, heavy surf, and flooding. It's unclear when it will be reopened. The Howard Frankland Bridge has reopened. Northbound lanes were closed for several hours Monday night. Eastbound Courtney Campbell Causeway is closed due to high surf. SR-589 in both directions from SR-50 to US Hwy 98 remains closed due to heavy flooding.

Debby's track has it heading northeast, toward northwest Florida. Debby's latest projected path has it moving into Marion County by Friday.

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency, urging Floridians to be "very, very, very cautious," and not to take anything for granted from Debby.

Debby's outer bands lashed Florida with rain and kicked up rough surf off on Sunday, prompting storm warnings and watches in the Bay area and across the state.

Debby is forecast to basically hold its position south of Apalachicola over the next 36 hours and eventually press northward. As of the 11 p.m. advisory Monday, the storm is located at 29.2 N, 85.1 W, which is about 35 miles SSW of Apalachicola, Florida.

The slow moving storm has winds of 45 mph, down from 60 mph on Sunday. On land, winds have been between 20 to 30 mph, with some higher gusts in the Bay area. The storm is kicking up seas between 12 and 15 feet. Debby is moving at 2 mph.

Severe weather and tornado warnings came and went early Monday as rain bands swept across the Bay area.

The rain, winds and high waves led to problems throughout the area Sunday.

Areas hit hard by high winds and torrential rain included Winter Haven, Pass-A-Grille and Holiday in Pasco County.

Tornadoes were reported in parts of Polk County and Pinellas County. Downed power lines were reported in Pinellas. Meanwhile, tree limbs and branches causing some damage in the yards of homes and in front of some businesses were reported across the area. There were no injuries reported in the immediate Bay area.

Street flooding was seen throughout the area, while a large depression opened in a road behind Nature Coast Tech High in Brooksville. And in Clearwater, Pier 60 in Clearwater experienced some damage.

96-hour rainfall totals as of 4 p.m. Monday:

HERNANDO

Brooksville 15.13

PINELLAS

Largo 13.66

Tarpon Springs 14.28

Oldsmar 12.60

Pinellas Park 12.28

Dunedin 12.27

St. Petersburg 10.61

HILLSBOROUGH

Tampa 10.07

Wimauma 9.79

Lithia 9.13

Macdill 9.59

Ruskin 5.21

MANATEE

Bradenton 8.97

POLK

Winter Haven 7.04

Fort Meade 6.54

Bartow 5.77

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The Bay News 9 Weather Experts will have LIVE reports as Debby continues to develop and impact our area.