Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sluggish Fay drops rain by the foot

Lumbering across the state, Tropical Storm Fay could dump up to 30 inches of rain in areas of eastern Florida as it turns northwest today, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hundreds of residents were flooded out of homes Wednesday as emergency crews used airboats to rescue people trapped in Brevard and St. Lucie counties.

Gov. Charlie Crist requested an emergency declaration from the president.

"I want to stress that this storm is turning into a serious catastrophic flooding event," the governor said during a news conference in Tallahassee.

The evidence was piling up in east central Florida:

• Fay, which hit the Keys on Monday before traversing northeast across the state, barely moved most of Wednesday. The hurricane center reported more than 22 inches of rain near Melbourne, just south of Cape Canaveral. The soaking is expected to continue as Fay brushes the Atlantic Ocean before turning back toward North Florida.

• Tom Christopher, St. Lucie County emergency management coordinator, said between 85 and 140 people had been rescued by boat or high-clearance vehicles. In some areas, it's waist-deep, said Erick Gill, a spokesman for St. Lucie County. "We've had reports of people having 3 to 5 feet of water in their home."

• The rising waters overwhelmed the sewer system in Brevard. Overflows affected between 40,000 to 50,000 residents living in areas just south of Melbourne Beach.

• The Florida National Guard mobilized about a dozen guardsmen and several high-water vehicles to help with evacuations and assist with damage assessment, said Jon Myatt, spokesman for the Florida Department of Military Affairs.

• Fay claimed 30 turtle nests on the 5-mile stretch of Boca Raton's beaches. In West Palm Beach, environmental officials hoped turtle nests were safe. Officials say the nests, which are buried under layers of sand, may still be there, but they won't know Fay's effect on them for days.

• Melbourne homeowners were warned about an alligator swimming down their streets after the storm's record-breaking rain continued on Wednesday, Orlando's local6.com reported. A Rockledge resident submitted a photo of a catfish in his yard.

Times staff writers Alex Leary, Craig Pittman and Mike Brassfield contributed to this report, which used information from the Orlando Sentinel and Times wires.

By the numbers

Tropical Storm Fay

0.1 unofficial rain total, in inches, in parts of the Tampa Bay area, including Brooksville

24.8 inches of rain reported in one location near Melbourne from Fay

65 mph Fay's top sustained wind speed, clocked on Tuesday near Lake Okeechobee

0 mph Fay's forward speed Wednesday night

3 previous tropical storms or hurricanes that have hit Florida three times, as Fay is expected to do, since National Hurricane Center records began in 1871.

Sources: National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center

A few more numbers

Tropical Storm Fay

$1.8-million



amount it costs Florida to suspend tolls for a day in a storm evacuation. That includes $90,000 in uncollected tolls on the Veterans Expressway, $60,000 on the Suncoast Parkway and $150,000 on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway in Tampa, according to the state's turnpike authority.

Sluggish Fay drops rain by the foot 08/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southern Heritage group draws fire for posting personal information of Confederate statue opponents

    Politics

    TAMPA — Curtiss Wilson is an 89-year-old Tampa resident who fought in the civil rights movement.

    A report by Save Southern Heritage Florida includes the "affiliation" of more than 100 people who spoke at the July 19 commission meeting in favor of removing  the Confederate monument from in front of the old county courthouse in Tampa. People on the list say the report was meant to intimidate and harrass opponents of the monument. Save Southern Heritage director Doug Guetzloe said the report is "opposition research" meant to to inform elected officials about who was speaking on the issue.
[Save Southern Heritage Florida]
  2. Gen. Votel interview: 'A bit of a stalemate' in Afghanistan, but a chance to optimize gains there

    Military

    In developing the plan for the war in Afghanistan that he announced Monday night, President Donald Trump consulted with advisers including his military leaders throyugh their chain of command.

  3. Water Street Tampa unveils illustrations showing downtown's transformation

    Business

    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  4. Bill Nelson shares Rick Scott's cautious stance on Confederate monuments

    Blogs

    On the issue of Confederate monuments, Sen. Bill Nelson is taking the cautious route of Gov. Rick Scott.

  5. St. Pete Beach to vote on loosening drinking rules for hotel guests

    News

    ST. PETE BEACH — The city commission will vote Tuesday night whether to allow alcohol on the beach.

    Registered hotel guests would be able to drink alcoholic beverages at their cabanas on the beach under a new rule the St. Pete Beach City Commission is considering. [Times files]