MANATEE - Upper Manatee River Road has been closed by county emergency operations officials due to flooding of the Manatee River following a night and day of heavy rain.
The road was closed from Rye Road to 500 feet west of Rye Road at 4:30 p.m . Saturday. The situation was reviewed after the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center was activated due to several inches of rain across the county.
Early Saturday, a flood warning was issued for the Manatee River at Myakka Head, with the river expected to rise to its highest level in more than 14 years, according to the National Weather Service.
The warning is expected to be in place through Tuesday afternoon.
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"All residents should be on th watch for poetntial flooding in their neighborhoods thoughout today until the rainy conditions improve," said a statement from the emergency center.
The statement said conditions were not so bad that sandbags were being filled and handed to residents.
Between midnight and 11 a.m., about 2.3 inches of rainfall had been recorded by the National Weather Service at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, according to the NWS Web site.
But in Parrish, 6.01 inches fell between 3:50 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. Another 0.54 inches fell Friday evening, the most meteorologist and amateur storm spotter Bill Mork said he had recorded in his rain gauge since moving to Parrish in May 2005.
Showers and thunderstorms were forecast to continue through the afternoon, with as much as three-quarters of inch of rain expected. Tonight, the chance of rain was expected to drop to 50 percent.
Bay News 9 meteorologist Diane Kacmarik said that it is not out of the question for some areas to see as much as three inches of rain before the day is over, according to a report on the channel's Web site.
Kacmarik said much of the area can expect to see heavy rain all day long, although there will be a few breaks in the rain throughout the day.
More rain waits offshore, and is moving slowly to the east, according to Bay News 9.
At 9 a.m. this morning, the Manatee River at Myakka Head was at 10 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet, but there already was some minor flooding.
The river is expected to rise above flood stage by late this afternoon and continue to rise to 14.4 feet by early Sunday afternoon — the highest it's been since July 28, 1995. Areas expected to be affected include State Road 64 East, a a private road and bridge one mile downstream from Myakka Head and farms and ranches in the Kibler area, according to the weather service.
The river will fall below flood stage by Tuesday morning, according to the weather service.
Earlier Bay News 9 reported that there were flood warnings for east Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Duette.
There was localized flooding throughout the area, including U.S. 41 and its sidestreets as stormwater drainage systems struggled to keep up with this mornings thunderstorms.
Other streets affected, according to BayNews 9, include,
- State Road 70, 10 miles east of I-75
- State Road 62
- Bunker Hill Loop
- State Road 37
- 4000 block of 45th Street East in Bradenton
- 3000 block of 27th Street East in Bradenton
- County Road 675 between State Road 64 and State Road 70 in Myakka City
- 7800 block of Verna Bethany Road in Myakka City
- 30000 block of State Road 64 E in Myakka Road