Tropical Storm Emily Makes Landfall In Florida

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Tropical storm Emily, forming near Tampa, Florida, is threatening heavy rain, strong winds and possible flash flooding.

(CNN) — Tropical Storm Emily has landed, striking a coastal Florida island just west of Bradenton and dropping several inches of rain, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 31 counties in southern and central Florida.

The storm brought winds of 45 mph to Anna Maria Island about 10:45 a.m. Monday. Residents braced for heavy rain and possible flash flooding.

Scott said Monday about 18,000 residents are without power and officials are working to get the power back up.

Authorities say Emily expected to weaken

Emily is expected to weaken to a tropical depression as it moves across the Florida peninsula over the next 24 hours.

“While this storm developed quickly overnight and will swiftly move across our state, storms can always develop rapidly and that is why it is so important to be prepared at the start of hurricane season,” Scott said in a statement.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for six counties, including Pinellas, Sarasota and Lee.

Emily is expected to dump 2 to 4 inches of rain along the west coast of central Florida between the Tampa Bay area and Naples, according to the 8 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory.

Scott said residents in southwest Florida could also see another 2 to 4 inches of rain.

In some isolated areas, such as the town of Valrico, due east of Tampa, as much as 8 inches of rain have fallen in the past 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of St. Petersburg have seen nearly 6 inches of precipitation. More than 4 inches have fallen on West Longboat Key and Treasure Island.

The state has been monitoring the system since it was a tropical depression.

Scott and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon urged residents to make the proper preparations for the storm.

They advised people to visit the FL website for resources and information.

No evacuation orders are in effect yet.

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