TAMPA BAY AREA - Even though Tropical Storm Debby has yet to make landfall, she's brought her wrath upon the Tampa Bay area. Since Saturday afternoon, we've seen heavy rainstorms, flooding, and even tornadoes.
Currently, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is closed to traffic until further notice.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners continue to monitor and work closely with states potentially affected by Tropical Storm Debby, including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.
Here's a round up of everything you need to know:
The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the Tampa Bay area. The region previously was under a Tropical Storm Watch.
Emergency Operations Center Briefing on Tropical Storm Debby
Governor Rick Scott spoke to media members in Tallahassee on Monday afternoon and then declared a statewide emergency for Florida. He said the Emergency Operations Center is currently coordinating local resources. "Often the problem is not the weather," emphasized Scott. "It's what happens afterward and how we respond to it. Just be prepared to use common sense and be careful."
Pinellas County Declares State of Local Emergency
Pinellas County declared a state of local emergency Monday at 10:09 a.m. due to the continuing threat and impacts of Tropical Storm Debby. The resolution provides for the acquisition and distribution of supplies, materials, facilities, and the appropriation and expenditure of public funds to implement civil preparedness actions. Citizens may call 727-464-4333 to ask questions related to conditions in Pinellas County.
- Shelter - Chapel on the Hill, 12601 Park Boulevard in Seminole
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster assisted residents and city staff with filling sand bags Monday evening, and answered questions about the city's response to Tropical Storm Debby.
Hernando County experiencing heavy flooding, sinkholes
A local state of emergency has been issued for Hernando County as of Monady afternoon. The Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor the system throughout its duration. Residents are encouraged to report all storm related damage to the Emergency Operations Center at 352-754-4083. A river flood warning has been issued for the entire Withlacoochee River and residents who live along this area should be cognizant of rising waters and evacuate as needed. Coastal residents are encouraged to actively monitor this system and potential storm surge. Residents are encouraged to move to higher ground if necessary. A Tornado Watch has been issued for Hernando County until 11 p.m.
Current road closures in Hernando County are at the following locations:
-Spring Hill Drive from the Hernando County Jail to FDOT Office (Flooding) -Mariner Bv. from Little St. to Claymore St. (Sinkhole) -Claymore St. at Keeport Dr. (Sinkhole) -Citrus Way at US98 (Flooding) -Old Crystal River Rd. at Ajax St. (Flooding) -Richloam Clay Sink Rd. at Cortez Bv. (SR50) (Tree down) -Eppley Dr. at Trudy Ln. (Flooding) -Croom Rd. from Broad St. east to Mcintyre Rd. (Flooding) -Clinton Dr. from Cortez Bv. to Providence Bv. (Flooding) -Rosewood Dr. at Lynbrook Ln. (Flooding)
- Red Cross shelter. - Ridge Manor Communication Center - 34450 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville
Pasco County issues Local State of Emergency
Pasco County schools and the courts remain open for business. PCPT Transit Buses are running regular routes. The County Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is providing services as needed. Residents needing assistance should contact the Resident Information Center at 727-847-8959. Residents are strongly encouraged to stay at home and not venture out. Pasco County is still under a Tornado Watch until 2 p.m. Many major roads are still experiencing flooding. If your home is in danger of flooding and you would like to evacuate, a shelter is open at the Fasano Hurricane Shelter at 11611 Denton Avenue, Hudson.
Gallagher & Associates offers 10 tips for storm insurance claims.
Those living on Arbordale Drive say the water has backed off some from Sunday. But it still makes going to the mailbox a difficult task.
Shore Acres, an area of Pinellas County prone to flooding, is being likened to 'living in a fishbowl' by residents after Tropical Storm Debby pounded the area with rain Sunday night.