Manatee County Emergency Management officials have warned its residents to stay off the roads Sunday as expected rains could make flooding an even greater risk.
According to a release by the county, more than eight inches of rain has fallen over the past 24 hours, causing road closures throughout the county.
One of the hardest hit areas was Tara Boulevard, which had disabled cars strewn over it along a quarter mile stretch just south of State Road 70.
A Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy said more than 70 cars had been towed in the area since the heavy rain began Saturday evening and more than 100 were expected to be towed in all.
He strongly urged drivers, "Don't drive into standing water."
A Manatee County Sheriff's Office release said at 9:20 p.m., a "suspected tornado" passed through the Samoset area from 2600 First Street to 3000 15th St. E., causing numerous trees to fall and structural damage to buildings. Manatee County Eastside Fleet Maintenance had damage to the rooftops of its maintenance buildings and offices. No injuries were reported. Florida Power and Light and Manatee County Public Works are working on clean-up and power restoration in that area.
The county has sandbags available at Lakewood Ranch Park, 5350 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., and at Stormwater Ops, 5511 39th St. E., Bradenton along with other sites in the county.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Manatee River at Rye Bridge into Sunday night.
"The most important things to remember today are to avoid standing water at all costs; never drive or walk through flooded streets," Emergency Management Chief Sherilyn Burris said in a release. "Stay away from downed power lines. Stay tuned to local news reports and be ready to act quickly if strong wind or heavy rains threaten your home."
Burris reminded people to only dial 911 for emergencies and asked for people with non-emergency calls to dial Manatee's Citizen Information Center at (941) 749-3500.
Lakewood Ranch officials closed Greenbrook Adventure Park due to heavy flooding at 8 a.m. Sunday, IDA Executive Director Anne Ross said.
The Braden River overspilled its banks, flooding the park's soccer fields, dog park, community garden, playground and other amenities. Water levels were at least four feet deep in some areas. The multipurpose path from the parking lot to the dog park and community garden is completely under water.
The park is located in a 100-year flood plain and is designed to handle flood waters.
Ross and her staff were out evaluating other Phase 1 Lakewood Ranch parks, spillways and other infrastructure Sunday morning.
Ross said she is unsure when Adventure Park will reopen, as it likely will be contingent on weather.
The Lakewood Ranch Elks Club closed for the day on Sunday due to flooding on Lena Road.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office issued a warning about 10:30 p.m., Saturday that several intersections in the East County/Lakewood Ranch area were flooded due to steady, driving rain.
The Sheriff's Office asked that motorists avoid the areas until water subsides.
The intersections include Creekwood Boulevard/ State Road 70 East, Lockwood Ridge Road /Honore Avenue, Tara Boulevard/Linger Lodge Road, State Road 64 East/Morgan Johnson Road, Whitfield Avenue/North Tamiami Trail, and Whitfield Avenue/U.S. 301.
Among the communities that were experiencing flooded roads were Palm Aire, Tara, Rosedale, River Club and Braden Woods.