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TS Andrea delivers typical storms to AMI

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

People take advantage of a break in the rain June 6 to watch waves near the Sandbar Restaurant in Anna Maria.

A truck splashes along South Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria. National Hurricane Center forecasters said the island received 3-6 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Andrea.

The first tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season didn’t take long to form in the Caribbean and head for Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Hurricane season officially began June 1 and Tropical Storm Andrea formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico June 5.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami originally predicted Andrea would make landfall at the mouth of Tampa Bay, but by early June 6 revised the estimate to a landfall in the Big Bend area. Andrea made landfall that night between Taylor and Dixie counties.

Anna Maria Island was on the eastern side of the storm, which is generally the strongest for wind and rain. The island was struck by high winds and plenty of rain and experienced the usual street flooding and a number of downed tree limbs.

But no island city reported major damage.

“We had a few limbs blown down and some street flooding, but nothing major,” said Anna Maria public works superintendent George McKay.

In Holmes Beach, public works department foreman Gary Blunden said he and staff scouted for major damage, but found none.

“I think we’re OK,” he said. The high tide June 6 occurred around 10:30 p.m. Had the rain continued into the night, the tide could have breached seawalls.

One concern from Andrea could be beach erosion, said Manatee County Director of Natural Resources Charlie Hunsicker. But he also noted that a renourishment project is scheduled for later this year.

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