Tropical storm Debby has planted herself over the west coast of Florida and is dumping buckets on the area. The stationary storm has dumped 5 inches of rain or more in some areas and is expected to drop up to 25 inches of rain over northern and central Florida.
“The widespread flooding is the biggest concern,” said Florida Emergency Operations Center spokeswoman Julie Roberts. “It’s a concern that Debby is going to be around for the next couple of days, and while it sits there, it’s going to continue to drop rain. The longer it sits, the more rain we get.”
Forecasters have had a difficult time predicting Debby’s path. At one time, they predicted Debby would move west toward Texas, and now it appears the storm will continue to move east and out to sea.
“High winds forced the closure of an interstate bridge that spans Tampa Bay and links St. Petersburg with areas to the southeast. In several locations, homes and businesses were damaged by high winds authorities believe were from tornadoes,” USA Today reported.
Officials say that more than 35,000 are without electricity.
So far, the storm has killed one person and an Alabama man is missing.
Drivers, do not underestimate the power of a tropical storm. Though the storm is not a hurricane, the dangers of flash flooding and tornados cannot be ignored. If you’re planning on passing through Florida over the next week, please check the National Weather Service website and the Florida Highway Patrol for warnings and road closures.