If there was any doubt that we’re not right in the thick of the summer season here in Florida, Tropical Storm Debby probably blew them away with some hefty force over the weekend.
The stationary storm loomed over the Tampa Bay area for most of the weekend causing floods in many coastal area, high winds that have closed the Skyway Bridge temporarily, and even a few tornados.
The Skyway closing has caused traffic through I-75′s alternative route to bypass the bridge.
Many experts expect the gloomy weather to last through Tuesday with even more rain and winds to continue. Currently, there’s a tornado watch that remains in effect until, at least, 2 p.m. today for the entire Tampa Bay area. Wind damage has been observed in multiple areas including St. Pete and Clearwater while flooding also remains an issue for these coastal cities.
With up to 20-25 inches of rain expected in spots in western and northern Florida, it won’t get much better either. Areas like Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Citrus Park, and Clearwater have already received upwards of 10 inches over the weekend.
The tropical storm has also affected oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Gusts of over 50 mph have rendered offshore drilling and other activities unsafe. The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 6.5 percent of U.S. natural gas production and 29 percent of our country’s oil production.
We’ll keep you updated as more news arises regarding Tropical Storm Debby.