Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tropical Storm Debby's impact in Pinellas County

Pinellas County

Pinellas County residents spent most of Monday in recovery mode, cleaning up the destruction left by Tropical Storm Debby.

On the beaches, people enjoyed a break from the rain. On Clearwater Beach, children built sand castles and waded in a river left by Debby that ran parallel to the shoreline, while workers righted blown-over garbage cans and raked up debris on nearby sidewalks.

By about 9 a.m., floodwater had receded from most of Mandalay Avenue — the main drag through Clearwater Beach — but many side streets on the north end of the island were still under water.

On Sunday night, as the storm raged during high tide, water crept up to doorsteps.

"I've lived here six years, and this is the worst I've ever seen it," said Bill Post, 67, whose house is on Bruce Avenue, which remained under a few inches of murky brown water Monday morning.

He and other neighbors swept and raked clumps of leaves and dirt into small piles.

Egrets waded through the water, picking at it for food. The top complaint of most residents was fast-driving trucks and SUVs, which sent waves of water up driveways and into garages.

• • •

Tow truck companies raced around the county, scooping up vehicles abandoned during the storm and rescuing stranded motorists.

Chris Leipold, a driver for Caladesi Towing, said it has been a busy 24 hours.

"We've towed more than 80 vehicles in the Palm Harbor, Ozona and East Lake area since yesterday," Leipold said as he hooked up a Saab 93. "I think this car is gone. People need to know, when they drive through water, it hydrolocks the motor. This engine is probably ruined."

• • •

In Treasure Island, surfers gathered to catch waves at Sunset Beach. Among them was Eric Caplan, 22. With his white board tucked under his arm, he slowly waded into the gray water.

"I've been surfing for a little bit, so I kinda know what I'm doing out here," he said. "It's the only time we get good waves."

Farther away, Steve Colgate of Target Carpet pumped about 600 gallons of water from a 1939 house in the 7100 block of First Avenue that had flooded.

Joel Newburg, who lives there, said he found about 7 inches of water inside his first floor bedroom.

He tried to scoop it out with buckets. He called Colgate on Monday.

• • •

In Clearwater, staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Pinellas on State Road 590 moved about 50 animals to higher ground after part of the facility flooded Sunday night.

Spokeswoman Twila Cole said the shelter has kennels at the bottom of a hill. The animals, mostly dogs, were moved to other parts of the property.

The shelter is accepting donations of towels, blankets and cleaning supplies. It also is offering a $25 discount toward adoptions made today. For more information, call (727) 797-7722.

Times staff writers Drew Harwell, Laura C. Morel, Will Hobson, Piper Castillo and Kameel Stanley contributed to this report.

Tropical Storm Debby's impact in Pinellas County 06/25/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 25, 2012 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.