TS Andrea leaves most of Manatee untouched

jtate@bradenton.comJune 7, 2013 

MANATEE COUNTY -- Minor flooding, a few gusts and a deluge of rain defined the impact of Tropical Storm Andrea on most of Manatee County.

TS Andrea was relatively calm here after a stormy morning Thursday, Manatee County public information officer Nick Azzara said.

"I spoke with emergency management and there's no report of flooding," said Azzara. "While driving on North Bay Drive, you will see the typical few inches of water on the side in the gutter and seeping into the streets, but nothing that would obstruct traffic."

City officials also reported no major flooding or damage to property.

"We dealt with light gusts of wind and rain, but everything is calming down," said Bradenton Beach police officer Eric Hill.

The National Weather Service forecast indicated Andrea's danger had largely passed by midnight Thursday. Overnight showers and possibly a thunderstorm could produce gusty winds of less than 30 mph and heavy rain, according to NWS.

Today brings a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with partly sunny skies and a high near 87.

Although beach communities sustained no major damage, the Anna Maria Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring organization did not authorize its volunteers to check nests on the beach. Director Suzi Fox said it was not safe to be out in the water during the storm to possibly save a few eggs.

"We will go out and inspect in the morning when it's safe," said Fox. "The safety of the people is the main thing."

She estimated 150 black skimmer bird's nests were washed out, but she said they will be fine.

"The birds are hanging in the bushes and will surely nest again," she said.

At Manatee Public Beach on Anna Maria Island, 20 people came around noon to enjoy a rainy, windy day at the beach. Some walked the sand, some dipped their feet into the foamy water, and some brought the family to enjoy the view of Mother Nature rustling the ocean water making huge waves.

Autumn Sweet came out with her 1-year-old daughter to experience the beach during a storm.

"I wanted to see how bad it was going to get with the waves. It looks awesome for a tropical storm," said Sweet, who's from Indiana. "I don't know how you guys do it down here."

She and her family are vacationing in Manatee County and didn't realize they had planned their trip during hurricane season.

Water gathered in places prone to flooding on Anna Maria Beach. But George McKay of the Anna Maria Public Works Department said no roadways were closed. The city simply posted signs where water usually accumulates.

"It was nothing we haven't dealt with before," said McKay, who went on to joke: "We didn't have to use kayaks."

In Bradenton, a tent used for a revival was knocked over near the corner of Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street East, scattering chairs and tables late Thursday morning.

"Lord, don't let it hit the cars," ministry assistant Darlene Hertel said. "But it stopped, thank God."

Hours later, crews were working on setting back up for the evening service.

"If the tent doesn't go up, we will still have church. It will go on regardless," Hertel said. "The devil is not going to win."

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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