Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

East Hillsborough mops up from Irma's wrath

In Tampa, Hurricane Irma didn't seem to pack quite the punch the city expected. But eastern Hillsborough County was a maze of flooded out roads, downed power lines and uprooted trees. Downed oak trees on Downing Oaks Lane knocked out fences and mailboxes. Unmarked cruisers blocked off access to a large, knee-deep lake in the middle of Sydney Dover Road and Downing Street, and most homes in the area have been without power since 5 pm.

Paul Rice wasn't worried how his brick ranch house would fare against Irma — he built it himself in 1978. What did worry him, though, were the debris-filled ditches along the property where his and his son's neighboring homes stand. The ditches were dug by his wife's family in 1924 but have been largely neglected by the county, Rice said.

About 10 Sunday night, on his granddaughter Caitlin's 13th birthday, Rice's worst fears came true. Water began seeping into his garage towards his new freezer and generator. His son's family rushed over to carry items inside as plastic bags full of recyclable cans floated out the garage door and into his front yard. The water seeped into the adjoining mudroom until it was about a foot deep.

"The water didn't start to go down until the kids all ran down to the culvert and started digging out the clogs by hand," said Rice's wife, Levale, as her granddaughter mopped up water from the mudroom. "Thank god Irma was just a Category 1; can you imagine if it came in as anything worse?"

In the light of day, the family could see the extent of the flooding, which extended through their orange groves and into neighboring homes along Downing Street. The grandchildren waded through the lawn, trying to catch tadpoles swimming up the flooded driveway, and played video games on their tablets, plugged into a make-shift phone charger connected to a 10-volt battery.

"Now I guess we just wait for it to go down, not much more we can do," Mr. Rice said.

Contact Anastasia Dawson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

 
Comments
Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain brings river flooding to Tampa Bay

Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain brings river flooding to Tampa Bay

More tropical showers and thunderstorms could be headed to Tampa Bay as a low pressure system that is developing in Western Caribbean waters is expected to track up through the Gulf of Mexico, promising more rain for an already soggy region. Much lik...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A warm, muggy Saturday with maybe some rain this afternoon

A warm, muggy Saturday with maybe some rain this afternoon

Expect a nice day, but keep an umbrella handy, especially for later in the afternoon.The forecast from the National Weather Service in Ruskin calls for warm and muggy temperatures around the Tampa Bay area today and Sunday with daytime highs in the l...
Published: 05/19/18
Forecast: Rainy weather sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Rainy weather sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend

TAMPA— The dark clouds and intermittent rain that consumed the work week won’t be taking any days off just because the weekend is here as more scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service....
Published: 05/18/18
Forecast: Warm and rainy as Tampa Bay heads into weekend

Forecast: Warm and rainy as Tampa Bay heads into weekend

As temperatures rise Thursday afternoon, so will the chance of rain across the Tampa Bay. Expect to see some heavy cloud cover and scattered showers around lunchtime, according to the National Weather Service.Thursday morning will start with relative...
Published: 05/17/18
Forecast: Blossoming thunderstorms across Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future

Forecast: Blossoming thunderstorms across Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future

ST. PETERSBURG — Scattered showers and overcast skies will continue well into next week, as a weak weather system trudging north through the Gulf of Mexico could drop around 6-9 inches of rain across inland regions of Tampa Bay.Although a large area ...
Published: 05/16/18
Forecast: Weakening system will still produce soaking rains across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Weakening system will still produce soaking rains across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Following a day of soaking rain from a large low-pressure area that threatened to develop into an early tropical system, there’s some relative relief for the Tampa Bay area.The widespread rain that produced up to 6-8 inches in some a...
Published: 05/15/18
Dry no more: Tampa Bay is set to get soaked this week

Dry no more: Tampa Bay is set to get soaked this week

Tampa Bay’s dryspell ended emphatically on Monday.A low-pressure system churning its way up the Gulf of Mexico doused the region with up to three inches of rain Monday, according to the National Weather Service.The potential tropical system brought s...
Published: 05/14/18
Low pressure system in gulf has

Low pressure system in gulf has "medium" chance of strengthening into tropical or subtropical system this week

ST. PETERSBURG — Clouds, showers and thunderstorms in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico could strengthen into a tropical or subtropical storm affecting Florida in the next few days, National Hurricane Center forecasters predicted Sunday.In a 3:40 p.m. ...
Published: 05/13/18
Updated: 05/14/18
Forecast: Tropical moisture dampens Airfest, weekend plans across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Tropical moisture dampens Airfest, weekend plans across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — A deep wave of tropical moisture that’s moving through Tampa Bay from the south is making for a dreary outlook for folks hoping to enjoy some sunshine for this weekend’s MacDill AirFest and the long-awaited opening of Julian B. Lane ...
Published: 05/12/18
Hurricane debate: Will we see intense seasons or quieter ones?

Hurricane debate: Will we see intense seasons or quieter ones?

Hurricane season is still three weeks away. But among hurricane scientists an intense debate has long been churning:Is the Atlantic Ocean in the midst of a long period of hyperactive hurricane seasons? Or have we entered a period of sedate storm seas...
Published: 05/11/18