NEWS

Tracking the Tropics: Storm surge warning for Tampa Bay as Eta makes another landfall

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Most of Tampa Bay remains under a storm surge warning Thursday morning as Tropical Storm Eta makes its fourth landfall over Cedar Key, Florida.

Eta slowly worked its way up the Gulf Tuesday and Wednesday, battering the state with tropical-force-winds and heavy rain, tearing off roofs, flooding streets and knocking out power to nearly 50,000 homes.

The middle of Longboat Key to Suwanee River, Florida, including Tampa Bay, remains under a storm surge warning Thursday morning. A tropical storm warning is in place for Longboat Key to Suwannee River, Florida, and Flagler/Volusia County Florida line, and Longboat Key to Suwannee River, Florida, and Flagler/Volusia County Florida line is under a tropical storm watch.

At 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Eta was about 80 miles north-northwest of Tampa, and 5 miles east of Cedar Key, Florida. The storm was moving northeast at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 115 miles from the storm’s center.

The storm could dump another 1 to 3 inches of rain on Florida Thursday, with South Florida seeing isolated amounts of 20 to 25 inches.

A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is possible along much of Florida’s west coast.

After making landfall in Cedar Key, the storm is expected to weaken, and move northeastward into the western Atlantic Thursday and Friday. It could become a non-tropical cyclone before “becoming absorbed by a larger non-tropical cyclone on Saturday.”

Eta, the 28th storm of a very active hurricane season, first made landfall over Central America as a Category 4 hurricane before slamming Cuba and the upper Florida Keys.

The Atlantic hurricane season has seen 29 storms, breaking the 2005 record of 28 named storms.

Theta, the 29th storm, formed in the northeast Atlantic Monday night. The National Hurricane Center said Theta, now a tropical storm, was about 470 miles south-southwest of Azores, moving northeast with little change in strength.

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