TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tropical Storm Emily soaked portions of Central Florida as it moved onshore south of Tampa Bay this morning, just hours after forming in the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm officially made landfall at 10:45 a.m. along Anna Maria Island with winds of 45 mph, which was enough to close the Sunshine Skyway Bridge for the morning.
The hardest hit areas were southern Pinellas, coastal Manatee and coastal Sarasota counties, which had received an estimated 2 to 4 inches of rain by noon. Eastern Hillsborough County and Polk County was also hit hard with 2 to 3 inches in spots; the National Weather Service office in Ruskin picked up 4 inches of rain.
A wind gust of 57 mph was recorded at the fishing pier near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The Bradenton and Sarasota areas saw gusts near 50 mph, while further north in Tampa wind gusts were less than 20 mph.
The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved inland this afternoon, but more rain was possible.
"Wrap-around moisture will fuel additional downpours through Monday evening as Emily moves east across the area," FOX 13 meteorologist Lindsay Milboure blogged.
Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for 31 counties, including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. The declaration allows the state to work with local governments and ensure the necessary resources are provided.
Several counties and cities have sandbags available to residents:
CLOSURES AND CANCELATIONS
Manatee County Schools: All district extracurricular activities have been canceled after 1 p.m. on Monday. No decision has been made for Tuesday.
17th Avenue West from 1st Street West to 6th Street West
Riverview Blvd from 20th Street West to 26th Street West
10th Avenue East from 13th Street East to 15th Street East
Legoland Water Park: will be closed on Monday, but the main theme park will remain open.
Venice South Jetty: City officials reported water washing across the Jetty point. As a result, the walkway was closed until conditions become safe.
Venice Fountains: All fountains in the city have been turned off until further notice, including the Children's Interactive Fountain in Centennial Park.