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Thunderstorms dump heavy rain on Tampa Bay area

ST. PETERSBURG — A batch of thunderstorms parked over Pinellas County for about four hours Wednesday evening, dumping heavy rain over some areas.

The storms began in the early evening, drenching parts of St. Petersburg and Oldsmar with about 2 inches of rain, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure. Those areas, along with a spot in western Pasco County that also reported 2 inches, received the heaviest rain in the area.

"It didn't rain all in one spot for four hours, but for all of Pinellas County it was about a four-hour event," said McClure, who noted the storms were more like what one would expect to see during July and August.

The weather produced an increased number of calls for public safety personnel throughout Pinellas County, but no major incidents. There were reports of street flooding in downtown St. Petersburg and other parts of the city. Fire and police officials also kept busy with calls of lightning strikes, fires, downed wires and cars stalled in flooded intersections.

Progress Energy reported about 2,900 Pinellas customers without power at 8:15 p.m., but power was quickly restored to most homes. The company was handling reports of smaller outages late Thursday night in south Pinellas County.

Meteorologists are watching a low pressure system off the east coast of Florida, which could produce more rain this weekend. The chance of rain was 30 percent for Saturday and 50 percent for Sunday, McClure said.

Thunderstorms dump heavy rain on Tampa Bay area 05/24/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 24, 2012 11:54pm]
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