Update: Clearwater Beach 'Basically Underwater' Due to Flooding
Motorists are urged to stay off the roads after reports of flooding throughout the city due to Tropical Storm Debby.
Updated, 8:16 p.m.:
Clearwater Fire & Rescue assisted three displaced residents at On Top of the
World Condominiums, where officials said flooding is an issue and may get worse with the next line of thunderstorms expected to move into the area.
The displaced residents are safe, and accommodations have been made for them at the property, said Elizabeth Watts, spokesperson for Clearwater Public Safety.
Updated, 6:14 p.m.:
Areas of Clearwater Beach "are basically underwater due to flooding" and the north end of the beach is inaccessible, a city spokesperson saind Sunday evening.
No bridges or roadways are officially closed, but there are multiple disabled or stranded vehicles throughout Clearwater in the wake of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Debby, public safety spokesperson Elizabeth Watts said.
Flooding was reported on many side streets and at least two major arteries, Gulf to Bay Boulevard and US 19, Watts said.
One of the biggest areas of concern for Clearwater Fire & Rescue officials was the On Top of the World Condominiums off Belcher Road, where there were reports of overturned vehicles and people who either couldn't get out of their homes or get back in due to flooding.
Fire and rescue officials said they had received about 30 calls of stranded vehicles or medical emergencies in the past hour. They also responded to some damage calls, "but nothing major."
A 21-foot boat at the beach marina was taking on water Sunday afternoon, officials said, and a private contractor was contacted to help float and secure it.
Officials warned motorists to avoid driving through unknown depths of water or refrain from driving until flood waters recede.
Service on the Suncoast Beach Trolley, the Central Avenue Trolley, and Route 66 has been suspended, officials said. Service on the Route 19 north of Westfield Countryside Mall is also suspended.
Passengers are advised to check PSTA.net for other announcements about mass transit and possible delays or suspensions.
City officials urged motorists to stay off Clearwater's roads Sunday evening because of widespread flooding as rain from Tropical Storm Debby deluged Florida's Gulf Coast.
Clearwater's public safety office reported "many disabled vehicles stuck in flood waters" on major roadways, including Gulf to Bay Boulevard and US 19. Widespread flooding was also reported in Clearwater Beach.
There were also numerous reports and photos of the flooding on Twitter. The Weather' Channel's Hurricane Central account, @twc_hurricane, Tweeted about "Cars floating and water rescues needed," at 3:19 p.m Sunday.
Earlier Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for urban areas across Pinellas County until 9 p.m. The entire Tampa Bay region was under a tornado watch until 8 p.m.
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