NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Tropical Storm Eta floods homes on Longboat Key, residents say it was worst storm surge they've seen

Posted at 8:03 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 02:37:03-05

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. — On Thursday, some Longboat Key residents were cleaning up after a storm surge from Tropical Storm Eta flooded an entire neighborhood.

Inches of water rushed into dozens of homes in Longboat Village as tropical storm Eta passed through on Wednesday night.

"I saw this current of water flowing through the front door," said Vashti Braha, who has lived in her home for 25 years and has never been flooded.

People who live in the neighborhood say they have never seen this kind of flooding.

"I thought it would be just another storm but I was shocked," said Fred Kagi, who lives one street over from Braha and had inches of water in his home.

There was a voluntary evacuation order for residents on the key but many never left and were inside their homes when the water came in.

"You could not even see that I had a pool. It was like a lake. And it was up to here and coming in under the door," said Kagi.

The National Weather Service said the storm surge was only about three feet on Longboat Key. But meteorologists say the reason many residents have not seen flooding like this in the past is because the Tampa Bay area has not seen a storm take this kind of path in decades.

Residents say they're just glad it wasn't worse.

"I knew that when the tide turned, that was the end, that was as bad as it was going to get," said Kagi.