Severe storms and tornado cause damage in Manatee County

Tree where a tornado hit in Manatee County.

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — Heavy rains brought flooding and damage to several areas of Manatee County over the weekend.

Storm Team 8 meteorologist Leigh Spann said a flood watch continues until 9 a.m.

The area saw record-setting rain Saturday & Sunday in Manatee & Sarasota counties and heavy rain this morning. There were 8 inches of rain on Saturday, 4 1/3 inches of rain on Sunday and 1.36 inches of rain in two hours Monday morning.

“Rounds of heavy rainfall will continue across our area this evening into Monday before drier air filters in for the middle of the work week. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport set daily rainfall records BOTH Saturday and Sunday – with over a foot of rain in total! A Flood Watch will continue for Manatee and Sarasota counties until Monday evening with more rain in the forecast,” said Storm Team 8 meteorologist Ian Oliver and Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve.

Deputies said a “suspected tornado” passed through the Samoset area from 1st Street to 15th Street East around 9:20 p.m., damaging several trees and structures.

Storm Team 8 later confirmed an EF-0 tornado hit Manatee County at 9:21 p.m. Saturday.

The storm also hit county maintenance buildings and offices, damaging rooftops and vehicles.

No injuries were reported. Emergency crews were working to restore power and clean up the affected areas.

Homeowners in Bradenton were also dealing with flooding after what Storm Team 8 meteorologists call record-shattering rainfall.

Sandbags were available starting at these locations:

  • Buffalo Creek Park7550 69th Street East in Palmetto
  • G.T. Bray Park: 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West in Bradenton
  • Lakewood Ranch Park: 5350 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in Bradenton
  • Stormwater Ops: 5511 39th Street East in Bradenton
  • Rubonia Community Center: 1309 72nd Street East in Palmetto

News Channel 8 found roads flooded at 5th Street Court East Sunday morning. The water was so deep in some spots, a car was stuck in the middle of the road.

“Loud thunderstorms. You could just hear, it was coming down in downpours,” said homeowner Ann Best. “You couldn’t even hear the TV, it was coming down so hard.”

At Best’s home, the water covered her driveway and almost was up to her porch. Other homeowners on the street tell News Channel 8 water is coming into their homes, and they are working to get pumps so they can clear it out.

Best says it all happened so fast.

“It flooded pretty quickly. It was at 8 o’clock when we went out, and there was no flooding,” she said. “The streets were clear. Two hours later we came out side, and the street, it was up to our front garden bed.”

On Saturday night, deputies said these areas should be avoided due to flooding:

  • Creekwood Boulevard at SR-70 East
  • Lockwood Ridge Road at Honore Avenue
  • Tara Boulevard at Linger Lodge Road
  • SR-64 East at Morgan Johnson Road
  • Whitfield Avenue at North Tamiami Trail
  • Whitfield Avenue at US-301

Flooding has also been reported in Sarasota.

“The disturbance that brought very heavy rainfall to parts of the Tampa Bay area this weekend will likely develop into Tropical Storm Irma off the coast of Georgia overnight. The storm will bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the Carolina coastline over the next couple of days,”  said Storm Team 8 meteorologist Ian Oliver and Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve.

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