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Record rainfall met with few Tampa Bay area complaints

Eight-year-old Sidney Burone of Tampa tiptoes through a puddle Sunday after heavy rain moved over the Oldsmar Flea Market.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Eight-year-old Sidney Burone of Tampa tiptoes through a puddle Sunday after heavy rain moved over the Oldsmar Flea Market.

The Tampa Bay area received record rainfall this weekend, with some areas reporting as much as 7 inches of rain over the two-day period.

By 5 p.m. Sunday, Tampa International Airport reported a two-day total of 4.79 inches of rain, with 3.08 inches falling on Saturday — a record for that date.

Portions of northern Pinellas County and southeast Pasco County were the hardest hit, recording 6 to 7 inches of rain over the weekend. Strong storms that came off the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning knocked out power for up to two hours to 14,000 Progress Energy customers in those areas. Nearly 11,000 of them were in the Seven Springs area of Pasco, said spokeswoman Wendy Horne.

Dispatchers with the Pasco County Fire and Rescue Department got a few reports of light flooding near U.S. 19 and Flora Avenue in Holiday. They also reported a handful of car accidents Sunday afternoon. No one was seriously injured in the collisions.

Though Florida is still in a drought, the Tampa Bay area received more than twice as much rain during the first five months of this year (13.86 inches), compared to the same period in 2007 (6.39 inches). This year's totals — much more in line with our average precipitation — could mean a wetter rainy season than last year, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure.

"We've gotten much more rain, and we're right on target on for having a great summer season," he said.

This weekend's rain was the result of a weather system in the Southeast that produced a westerly wind with bands of moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. .

The same system will bring a 70 percent chance of showers and scattered thunderstorms today with highs near 90 degrees and lows around 76. The more common, afternoon summer rain showers should return on Tuesday, McClure said.

Times staff writer Joel Anderson contributed to this report.

Record rainfall met with few Tampa Bay area complaints 06/22/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 23, 2008 10:03am]
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