Rain will continue into Friday but it should be nothing compared to the downpours in Manatee County and elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area on Thursday. The threat of tornadoes has also passed, but the area will see windier and cooler conditions behind another line of storms that was expected Thursday evening.
One tornado was confirmed to have touched down near Myakka City at 7:40 a.m. Thursday. The porch of a Myakka City home was destroyed and there were several down limbs in the area of the 3700 block of Kibler Ranch Road, the National Weather Service confirmed. No injuries were reported.
Peace River Electric Cooperative, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the Myakka City Fire Department all responded to the home.
Manatee County saw anywhere from four to six inches of rain, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure. Three tornado warnings were issued Thursday morning as the most severe storms moved through the area ahead of the front.
Wind gusts of 45 mph were reported at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and on Longboat Key on Thursday morning, according to the weather service.
Another line of showers was forecast to move into the area Thursday night.
“Overnight and into the morning the winds will start to pick up,” McClure said. “Even though tomorrow won’t be anything like today, we will still rain showers coming off the gulf. It definitely still be raining on and off through the day.”
As of about 4 p.m. Thursday, the cold front was still located about 80 miles off shore, and there was a break in the storm action just in time for the afternoon rush hour.
A gale warning, high surf advisory and coastal flood warning will remain in effect through Friday. A flood warning means flooding is occurring or imminent and residents should be alert for rising water.
There will also be an onshore winds and tides will be two to four feet above average. There will also be the threat for coastal tide flooding, beach erosion and dangerous rip currents.
At one point during the worst of the storms Thursday, there were more than 1,200 customers without power in Manatee County, according to Florida Power and Light and Peace River Electric Coop. By just after 4 p.m., however, fewer than 50 customers remained without power.
A flood warning was issued for the Manatee River at Myakka Head through Saturday evening. As of about 3 p.m.. Thursday, the river was at 10.1 feet. It is expected rise to 13.7 feet, above flood stage, by Friday morning. A second flood warning was issued for the river at Rye Bridge through Saturday morning. As of about 3 p.m., the river at the Rye Bridge was at 9.1 feet and is expected to rise to 11.4 feet, above flood stage, by Thursday evening.
According to Manatee County spokesman Nick Azzara, there was a “routine water release to maintain (Lake Manatee) at a safe level.”
Things should start drying out Saturday as the sunshine returns, but it will still be cool, with a high near 64. Sunday will likely see more sun with a high near 67, according to the NWS.
Temperatures will return to the 70s for Monday and Christmas Day. Both days should be sunny, according to the Weather Service.
Herald reporter Ryan Callihan contributed to this report.