Within the next hour, Longboat Key is expected to feel stronger winds, at least two hours of non-stop rain and street flooding in low-lying areas, courtesy of the first tropical storm of the hurricane season.
The Key is under a tornado watch until 11 a.m., while a strong weather band from the storm is expected to come onshore in this area.
Tropical Storm Andrea’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph as it heads for land north of the Tampa Bay area. Southwest Florida area is expected to see non-stop thunderstorms throughout the area through at least 2 p.m. today. Four to seven inches of rain is expected today.
Longboat Key and the surrounding area is under a tropical storm warning. The Key is also under a flood watch through 8 p.m. and a tornado watch until 11 a.m.
Longboat Key Public Works Director Juan Florensa said street flooding in low-lying areas like Longbeach Village is expected to occur between 10 a.m. and noon during high tide. High tide, coupled with a Gulf that’s one to three feet higher than usual because of the storm, is a recipe for Key flooding in the Village and low-lying areas of Gulf of Mexico Drive.
“We are keeping watch in places like the Village to make sure the drains are working properly and they are not clogged,” Florensa said. “If residents are able to stay home today until the storms pass and the sun starts shining tomorrow, that’s advisable.”
For more information, check www.yourobserver.com for updates.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at firstname.lastname@example.org.