Western Florida was hit by gale tropical winds and torrential rains on Wednesday. Officials in areas such as Saint Petersburg, Sarasota and Madeira Beach have already responded to reports of torn roofs and flooded streets.
ETA strengthened the hurricane for a while on Wednesday morning, but then weakened into a tropical storm with winds of 60 mph, according to the NHC. Hurricane surveillance was lifted for parts of Florida’s west coast, but tropical storm warnings remained in effect for Englewood to the Swaney River, Florida, and the Flagler / Volusia County Line in Florida.
In addition to tropical storm winds and hurricane force storms, it will receive a lot from western and central Florida 1 to 3 more Inches of rain through Thursday – plus more than 6 inches that some areas have already received in the past 24 hours, according to Michael Jay, a meteorologist at CNN.
Wind gusts will elevate 2 to 5 feet along most of Florida’s west coast, including the extremely vulnerable Tampa Bay area. Water levels are already 2 to 3 feet higher and the water will continue to build up over the next several hours.
“Cedar Ki, north of the expected landfall, has already reported minor flooding before landfall,” said Jay.
The commission said the tropical storm was expected to dissipate over the western Atlantic Ocean by the end of the week.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been particularly active. It has set the record for most named storms in a season with 29 so far.