Rainfall floods roads, homes in Tampa - FOX 13 News

Rainfall floods roads, homes in Tampa

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA (FOX 13) - Reporting by Aaron Mesmer, Evan Axelbank and Michael Shingleton.

Torrential rains soaked a swath of the Tampa area this morning, flooding streets and washing into some homes before a second wave brought  waterspouts and a similar drenching to the southern Bay Area.

Tampa police officers spent the  morning responding to flooded cars and blocked intersections throughout the city.  Pictures shared on social media showed cars that tried to brave the standing water and failed. TPD even tweeted a picture of a car that was nearly submerged.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning earlier after rainfall rates hit three to four inches per hour with the first wave of storms moving through the area.

The heaviest rains fell in a line from Tampa to Temple Terrace to Wesley Chapel. At 11 a.m., a mobile alert was sent out to Tampa residents warning of the flooded areas. Shortly after that, the University of South Florida sent a push alert to its students, warning of "extreme flooding" affecting the campus.

One picture, tweeted by a USF adviser, showed major flooding in some parking lots. The university shut down some roads and lots due to excessive flooding, but things cleared up in time for the spring commencement ceremonies.

Meanwhile, residents in a neighborhood near Fowler and 22nd Street were watching as a retention pond overflowed its banks and filled the streets. The floodwaters made it into some homes there, FOX 13's Michael Shingleton reported.

Public works crews worked well into Friday night pumping debris from the retention pond.

Multiple homes and streets flooded near the pond after heavy rain throughout the day.

Homeowners were fearful water could creep into their homes but were elated to find out the clog had been addressed.

A public works spokesperson said the pumps were never turned off or failed and described the amount of rain in that short time a "once in 100-year rain event."

The second round of rain Friday brought funnel clouds and further flooding. The NWS issued tornado warnings for Manatee and Sarasota counties as several waterspouts were spotted or detected in the landfalling storms.

There were no immediate reports of tornado damage, though.

FOX 13 chief meteorologist says there is another band of storms in the Gulf that will bring more rain and potentially severe weather tonight and Saturday. But he added that once it moves through the weather should improve "dramatically" on Sunday.

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