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Streets flood, cars stall as storms sweep across Tampa Bay area

Olivia Watson, 5, tests her new umbrella with her dad, Max Watson, in front of their home Sunday in St. Petersburg. Olivia helped her dad clean his car to make some money to buy a mermaid Barbie doll. Once they were done, they tried out an umbrella he bought her the day before. “We were looking for shoes, and we found an umbrella instead,” Max said. She’ll likely need the umbrella this week, as the forecast calls for thunderstorms through Friday. Weather, Page 8C

.KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times

Olivia Watson, 5, tests her new umbrella with her dad, Max Watson, in front of their home Sunday in St. Petersburg. Olivia helped her dad clean his car to make some money to buy a mermaid Barbie doll. Once they were done, they tried out an umbrella he bought her the day before. “We were looking for shoes, and we found an umbrella instead,” Max said. She’ll likely need the umbrella this week, as the forecast calls for thunderstorms through Friday. Weather, Page 8C

Cars stalled and streets overflowed as a line of storms, which meteorologists say will continue today, swept through the region Sunday.

Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure attributed the downpour to a "classic southwest wind flow," which carried numerous storms and showers off the Gulf of Mexico.

Manatee County, which had received 2 to 4 inches of rain by 4 p.m., was hit hardest, barely edging out Hillsborough County, which received 1 to 2 inches of precipitation, McClure said.

Officials issued an urban flood advisory in the Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Parrish areas, warning folks to avoid low-lying areas. The Interstate 75 corridor also was affected, McClure said.

In Hillsborough, Tampa was among the cities to receive the most rainfall. Motorists reported that cars were stalling and jamming traffic as they tried to traverse what resembled a river on Kennedy Boulevard.

On a smaller scale, McClure said, Pinellas County also saw several passing showers and storms.

The showers knocked temperatures down from the high 80s and low 90s and into the 70s. So far, the region's rainfall is within normal ranges for this time of year, McClure said.

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report.

Streets flood, cars stall as storms sweep across Tampa Bay area 09/25/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 25, 2011 10:22pm]
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