The governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency in 34 of the state’s 67 counties, as Tropical Storm Colin made landfall in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Governor Rick Scott said the state’s National Guard is ready to deploy up to 6,000 personnel to areas affected by the hurricane.
The storm hit land near the Big Bend area about 2 a.m. Tuesday with 50 mph winds, flooding roads and knocking out power to thousands.
Press TV reports:
Colin approached Florida from the southeast, knocking down power lines and trees in the Tampa Bay area and dumping up to 16 centimeters of rain.
Winds as strong as 91 kilometers per hour also paralyzed the streets of Sarasota. In Saint Petersburg, roads have been flooded and residents are using boats in the streets.
Heavy rainfall could cause flash flooding, as the storm moves across Florida, southern Georgia and South Carolina, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.
Jack Beven, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said the storm was moving at 50 kilometers early Tuesday morning, and was expected to move even faster later in the day.
“This is a very quick-moving storm system, and a lot of the energy and a lot of the damage associated with it is going to be displaced off to the east,” CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.
Locals in low-lying areas of Franklin County have been urged to evacuate their houses.
Colin is forecast to bring more thunderstorms, heavy rains and floods to the state on Tuesday. The tropical storm will then head to Florida’s northwestern coast and the Atlantic Ocean.