Tropical Storm Andrea brought heavy rains and 40 mph winds to Longboat Key Thursday, June 6, but here’s what it didn’t bring: destruction. The Key and its surrounding area was under a tropical storm warning Thursday, as well as a tornado watch until 11 a.m. that morning.
There was minor flooding in Longbeach Village: Public Works Director Juan Florensa reported in an email to Town Manager Dave Bullock that as of 4 p.m. Thursday, approximately 3 inches of water remained on Broadway, while Russell Street was under 4-to-6 inches of water near Longboat Drive East, although the water was slowly receding. Sleepy Lagoon streets also saw flooding.
But Andrea gave Longboat Key residents and town staff an early reminder: Hurricane season is here.
“It’s always good to go through one of these early in the season to test your preparedness,” Florensa said.
The storm didn’t appear to result in a significant amount of sand loss, although the beach constantly experiences the loss of sand, according to Florensa.
Hayley Rutger, public relations coordinator at Mote Marine Laboratory, said staffers are still assessing nests for storm impact.
“We don’t know how many were affected,” she wrote in an email.
The fact that Tropical Storm Andrea came early in nesting season could be good news for nests, because turtles still have plenty of nests to lay for the season. Storms can have a bigger impact later in the season, when more nests are already in the sand.
Rutger urged beachgoers to be vigilant about watching out for nests. Nests can tolerate some water inundation and still hatch successfully. If no eggs are exposed to water, there’s no need to take action. If eggs are exposed, call Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program at 388-4331. (It’s illegal for beachgoers to handle sea turtle eggs, move nests or otherwise interfere with turtles on the beach.)
Save Our Seabirds CEO David Pilston said that it’s currently baby-bird season, meaning that the facility has a spike in young patients that get knocked out of trees, especially on stormy days. Still, Thursday didn’t produce an increase in reports of injured birds.
“It was your typical summer day,” he said.
Flood and Hurricane Awareness Seminar
What: Town staff and local emergency managers will provide information about hurricanes, floods, insurance and re-entry. Refreshments will be provided. Call 316-1999.
When: 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 20
Where: Longboat Key Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road