SEBASTIAN, Florida - Tropical Storm Colin dumped as much as 9 inches of rain on parts of Florida, flooding roads and causing thousands of power outages.
The Sebastian Police Department said some of the roadways near 510 and Vero Lake Estates were flooded. A team investigated a possible tornado related to the storm that damaged toppled trees near Vero Beach and on Main Street in Sebastian.
Although the storm was out to sea, forecasters said Colin is expected to produce additional rainfall of up to 2 inches across far eastern North Carolina, and as much as 5 inches across central Florida through Tuesday evening.
The U.S. Hurricane Center said Colin, which formed Sunday, was the earliest a third named storm had developed during the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began June 1.
Tropical storm warnings were discontinued on Tuesday as the remnants of Colin sped away from the mid-Atlantic coast and out to sea.
Although maximum sustained winds are at 68 mph with higher gusts, the system’s strongest winds and heaviest rains were over water and southeast of the center. The hurricane center said some slight strengthening was possible Tuesday night, but gradual weakening was expected to begin on Wednesday.
“We anticipate conditions to improve over the day,” he said. “Don’t let it ruin your day.”
“The marsh does what it’s supposed to do naturally - it drains and floods like it has done for a million years,” Cutting said.
The National Weather Service reported that about 2.7 of rain fell at Vero Beach Municipal Airport as the storm passed over the area. About 4 inches of rain fell at the Liberty County airport near Hinesville.
Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency as Colin moved across the state, dumping 9 inches of rain in parts of Pinellas County along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Flood warnings were issued in many parts of Indian River County and Tuesday’s commute was a difficult one with some roads underwater.
The high winds and rain knocked out power to about 10,000 people from Tampa Bay to Jacksonville.