Tropical Storm Emily Makes Landfall In Manatee County

Jul 31, 2017

UPDATED: Monday, July 31, 2017 5:16 PM

Tropical Storm Emily is now downgraded to a tropical depression. The National Hurricane Center said at 5 PM on Monday all Tropical Storm Warnings for Southwest Florida are discontinued. 

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Tropical Storm Emily made landfall Monday morning just before 11 AM on Anna Maria Island with maximum winds of 45 mph. Meteorologist Jeff Huffman said the heavy rain and possible flooding risk will continue through at least Tuesday. The storm is expected to be downgraded to a depression by Monday afternoon.

Tropical Storm Emily formed Monday morning 50 miles west of Tampa.  As of 2 PM on Monday a Tropical Storm Warning was in effect from Englewood to Bonita Beach. A Tropical Storm Warning was discontinued from Anclote River south to Englewood. 

Meteorologist Jeff Huffman said the greater concern is the risk of heavy rain and possible flooding. 

"Tropical storm Emily may pose a minor wind damage threat right along the coast in Pinellas and Manatee Counties-- winds up to 45 miles per hour. But the greater concern for more of west central and Southwest Florida will be the heavy rain bands today and tonight," said Huffman. "Up to four inches of rain may fall immediately along the coast. Some of that heavy will spread inland into central and southeast Florida tonight and tomorrow."

The winds can down small tree limbs and branches, and blow around unsecured small objects. Nearby residents are advised to seek shelter in a safe building until the storm passes.

Flood watches are in effect for Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades Counties through Monday night.

Localized flooding due to rainfall may prompt a few evacuations. Rivers and tributaries may quickly rise with swifter currents.  Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become swollen and overflow in spots.

Collier County said in a news release Monday afternoon the storm is causing floods on these roads: Kirkland Avenue, Mentor Drive, Auto Ranch Road, Euclid Avenue, 52nd Avenue Northeast and Everglades Boulevard, Palm View Drive, Sabal Palm Road, Johnnycake Drive west of Lakeland Avenue, 92nd Avenue North, 93rd Avenue North, Trade Center Way, 104th Avenue North, Shirley Street, Elsa Street, Viking Way, Orange Blossom Drive from Goodlette-Frank Road to Airport Road, Palm View Drive, Cypress Way East, Mentor Drive, and Goodland Drive.

Collier officials are reporting intermittent power outages throughout the county. The Florida Highway Patrol closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge due to high winds associated with the tropical storm.

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 31 counties: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian river, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia.

Scott's press office indicates the governor has been speaking with state and local officials regarding Tropical Storm Emily this morning, including Southwest Florida Sheriff's offices and Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson.

Monday afternoon, Governor Rick Scott put the tally of customers without electricity at 18,000. 

“Everybody that has outages is working hard. And so right now the lion’s share of it is as you would expect in Manatee County—there was a little over 10,000 in Manatee County. And I know Florida Power and Light has a lot of that and they’re focused on it,” said Scott.  

Nick Evans of member station WFSU in Tallahassee contributed to this report.