Florida pounded by tropical storm Emily as state of emergency declared
Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 31 Florida counties including Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade as Tropical Storm Emily made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Monday morning.
The storm, which formed suddenly on Monday off Tampa, wasn’t expected to directly affect South Florida but forecasters said it could dump several inches of rain.
The state of emergency was in effect for 31 counties including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee. The declaration “gives the state the flexibility to work with local governments to ensure that they have the resources they may need,” said a statement from Scott’s office.
Emily was about 35 miles southwest of Tampa and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, an increase of about 10 mph from early Wednesday morning when the system had been designated Tropical Depression 6.
Emily was moving east at about 9 mph.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Anclote River south to Bonita Beach along Florida’s west coast. The warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the next few hours.
“Emily is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Monday night along the west coast of Central Florida between the Tampa Bay area and Naples, with isolated amounts up to 8 inches possible. Elsewhere across Central and South Florida, 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected with localised amounts of up to 4 inches possible,” forecaster Stacy Stewart said in the latest advisory.
Emily is not expected to strengthen as it makes landfall Monday and is expected to weaken into a tropical depression again as it moves over the Florida peninsula Monday night. After that it will move over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.