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Tropical Storm Debby Bombarding Florida
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Florida has been drenched with rain by Tropical Storm Debby over the past couple of days as thousands of people have been without power. The storm continues to linger off the coast of Florida as of Monday afternoon. A state of emergency has been declared and a tropical storm warning is in effect for the majority of the state’s Gulf coast. On Sunday, rescue crews were searching for a man who went missing in rough surf in Alabama and at least one person was killed by a tornado in Florida.

A tornado touched down in St. Pete Beach on the Gulf coast of Florida. It damaged the roof of a marina and an apartment complex. It also knocked down trees, signs and fences. One resident, Kourosh Bakhtiarian, was dealing with a flooded yard and also spoke of displeasure with the police for not closing off streets in the neighborhood.

  
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“We have a lot of visitors from outside of this area. They just want to see exactly where the disaster is. I mean, this is not the happiest time. Usually people come to the beach when it’s sunny and nice and they can go to get a tan. But today, we saw a lot of visitors here.”

According to officials from the state, close to 35,000 businesses and homes were without power as of late Sunday. The bridge providing access to St. George Island was closed and power to the island was out and authorities claim it could be out for a couple of days.

“The tourists cleared out. It’s not a good thing and hurts the economy during a week in peak season,” said Patrick Sparks, 26, a manager at Eddy Teach’s bar. “It’s a tropical storm – it’s not even a category one (hurricane). It’s a little rash to send everyone home.”

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An interstate bridge that runs the spa of Tampa Bay and connects St. Petersburg with locations to the southeast was closed due to high winds from the storm. Fear of widespread flooding that was seen as a result of Hurricane Dennis in 2005 came into play over the weekend as the state was bombarded with wind and rain.

The center of Debby was almost stationary roughly 50 miles south of Apalachicola and her top sustained winds were registering at 45 mph. Forecasters have said that the storm will crawl northeast, eventually making landfall somewhere in Florida later this week.



“There are always going to be errors in making predictions. There is never going to be a perfect forecast,” said Chris Landsea, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.



 

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