Stormwater rushes into this drain off 109th Avenue in Largo Sunday afternoon as the heavy rains continue to fall throughout Pinellas County.
National Weather Service radar image showing heavy rain over the Tampa Bay area Sunday afternoon.
Reports of heavy rain, gusty winds, street flooding, power outages and minor damage were coming from all around Pinellas Sunday afternoon as Tropical Storm Debby churned offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
The rain gauge on top of Pinellas County’s Emergency Operations Center in downtown Clearwater showed 6.8 inches of rain received in a 24-hour period, ending about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The highest wind speed recorded for Sunday by the county’s station was 28.8 mph. A weather station at Sand Key out on the beach reported wind speeds of 23 mph with gusts to 24-mph. St. Petersburg Harbor station reported wind speeds of 21 mph with a gust to 26 mph.
A check of Progress Energy’s outage map Sunday afternoon showed scattered small outages throughout Pinellas, including Clearwater, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Belleair Bluffs, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island and St. Petersburg.
Watches, warnings and advisories
A tornado watch has been extended until 5 a.m.
A flood warning has been issued through 9 p.m., and a flood watch continues through Monday evening. The National Weather Service reports that some roads and intersections may become impassable, especially near the coast.
“Most flood deaths occur in automobiles,” the NWS said. “Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear.”
The NWS warns that one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road.
“When encountering flooded roads, make the smart choice – turn around, don’t drown,” NWS officials advise.
Coastal flood advisory and high surf advisory continue until noon Monday. Tides are expected to run 2 to 3 feet above mean sea level at high tides. There is an increased risk of rip currents, building surf and breaking wave actions on the beach.
Southeast to south winds will increase to 20 to 25 knots with higher gusts today and tonight. Seas are expected to build into the six to 10 foot range near shore and 12 to 16 feet well offshore.
A small craft advisory continues through Monday evening.
The National Weather Service says mariners will experience south winds of 30 knots with gusts around 45 knots and seas of 10 to 14 feet about 20 nautical miles offshore Sunday afternoon. Bay and inland waters are “very rough.” Conditions aren’t forecast to improve much before Monday night or Tuesday morning.
For the latest on the weather and Tropical Storm Debby, visit TBNweekly.com’s weather page.