Downpours causing flooding on Tampa area streets
TAMPA - Consistent downpours this morning have caused flooding on several roads throughout the Tampa Bay area. Officials are warning drivers to stay away from the area of Kennedy Boulevard and Howard Avenue as the road is completely underwater. The flooding extends north to Gray Street and south to Cleveland Street. High-water vehicles are responding to Dale Mabry Highway and San Miguel Street, where cars are getting stranded in three feet of standing water.Most of the Bay area will get rain today before a cold front moves in this afternoon, said News Channel 8 meteorologist Leigh Spann. "You certainly don't want to go far from an umbrella today," Spann said. Areas to the south that missed out on rain from Beryl last weekend are finally recording their first, widespread rains in quite some time. Showers and storms will progress through Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee, Desoto and Polk counties through 2 or 3 p.m. with 1 to 2 inches likely, said News Channel meteorologist Brooks Garner. In Hillsborough, higher amounts are possible. Thunderstorms will be few, and occasional lightning is possible. Rainfall will be especially heavy, considering its tropical connection. Driving visibility will be severely reduced at times along Interstate 75. The rain could linger in the area until about 4 p.m., when the front moves through and dries things out for the weekend. Lower humidity will also make it more comfortable, but high temperatures will still reach the upper 80s, Spann said. There is a 20 percent chance of rain on Saturday and, so far, no chance on Sunday.