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Storms drop heavy rain on Manatee

MANATEE — With thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain pounding the area, the National Weather Service in Ruskin today issued flood watches and advisories, along with warnings about serious rip currents threatening swimmers along parts of the Gulf of Mexico beaches.

At 12:10 p.m. today, radar indicated rainfall rates of two inches per hour associated with thunderstorms over northwestern Manatee County, including the cities of Palmetto and Bradenton and Anna Maria Island, according to the weather service Web site at www.weather.gov.

Meteorologists also said they had received reports of surf of between two to four feet, with dangerous rip currents and undertows. A rip current is a 10- to 30-yard wide channel of water that can pull even a strong swimmer into deeper water, according to a special weather statement issued at 8:58 a.m. today.

On shore, street flooding was reported on several roadways in Holmes Beach.

The weather service issued a hazardous weather outlook for west central and southwest Florida after a tropical wave near the Yucatan Peninsula did not develop into a tropical storm or a hurricane, but sent leftover moisture our way, said weather service meteorologist Anthony Reynes.

“The wave didn’t develop, but the moisture field, the leftover moisture, is being driven into the (Florida) peninsula by the southwestern winds,” said Reynes today.

“In our case, we needed the rain, these are certainly beneficial rains,” he added, saying the weather would continue to be soggy through tomorrow, but would start drying out by the Fourth of July weekend.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 708-7908 or at skennedy@bradenton.com

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