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Heavy rains expected to leave Tampa Bay area later this week

A section of a northbound lane of the Suncoast Parkway near Brooksville was closed to flooding early Wednesday and scattered power outages were reported throughout the Tampa Bay area as heavy rains continue to pummel the region.

More than an inch of rain was reported in several areas.

Several traffic crashes were reported in the morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. One eastbound lane of the Gandy Bridge was also closed after two cars crashed about 7 a.m. Injuries were unknown early Wednesday.

In Clearwater, more than 2,000 customers were without power early Wednesday, according to Progress Energy's website. About 700 customers had no electricity near Dade City early Wednesday, according to Tampa Electric's website.

Minor flooding was reported in Cypress Creek at Worthington Gardens in Pasco County, where a flood warning was in effect early Wednesday.

The forecast looks cloudy and rainy on Wednesday, but the Tampa Bay area should expect clearer skies later this week.

"We've been seeing very heavy rain and some lightning with the storms this morning," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

A 50 percent chance of rain was expected Wednesday, Marquez said. As a storm system heads northeast, less rain was expected in the area, with a 30 percent chance on Thursday and 20 percent on Friday.

But as rain chances drop, temperatures will rise.

On Thursday, temperatures will be in the low 90s and move into the mid 90s by Friday, Marquez said.

Heavy rains expected to leave Tampa Bay area later this week 07/18/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:08am]
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