Weather

Severe rainfall caused problems for Manatee County. More is on the way, forecast says

Weather forecast remains soggy for Manatee

Torrential rains caused several headaches throughout Manatee County Friday, and local weather forecasts indicate that more storms are on the way.
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Torrential rains caused several headaches throughout Manatee County Friday, and local weather forecasts indicate that more storms are on the way.

Torrential downpours caused several headaches throughout Manatee County on Friday, and local weather forecasts indicate that more rain is on the way.

Flooded streets, canceled high school football games and several weather-related traffic crashes were all a direct result of the intense rainfall. Several inches of rain have fallen in much of the county just from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday, causing emergency management officials to urge caution.

According to Accuweather, Bradenton has gotten almost 10 inches of rain in August, more than twice the normal average for the first half of the month.

“The ground is saturated and most stormwater ponds are full after a week of storms,” Steve Litschauer, chief of emergency management, said in statement Friday. “There’s more rain in the forecast and that will cause issues for low areas. We can expect short-term road flooding during and immediately following any intense rainfall (Friday) and (Saturday).”

More storms rolled through Bradenton on Friday night, flooding fields and prompting the cancellation of Manatee County’s planned Kickoff Classic football games for all six public high schools. The games are on the preseason schedule, so they won’t be played at a later date, school officials said.

Rain also had an adverse affect on drivers trying to navigate Manatee streets and highways. Northbound traffic on Interstate-75 came to a standstill when three separate accidents caused significant slowdowns for miles.

One of the crashes was a rollover in Bradenton, just north of State Road 64, that blocked two lanes on the highway around lunchtime. In Palmetto, another rollover crash was reported at Eighth Avenue West and Fifth Street West.

For those in low-lying area susceptible to flooding, the county offered free sandbags for residents to protect their homes from flood damage. Some areas, like Old Main Street and Ninth Street in Bradenton, also saw severe flooding.

According to the National Weather Service, more rain is expected over the weekend. On Saturday, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the day. That pattern continues on Sunday and Monday, as well.

A flood warning remains in effect for Manatee County through at least Saturday morning.

Ryan Callihan is the Bradenton Herald’s County Reporter, covering local government and politics. On the weekends, he also covers breaking news. Ryan is a graduate of USF St. Petersburg.
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