MIAMI — Tropical Storm Emily has landed, striking a coastal Florida island just west of the city of Bradenton, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, has already declared a state of emergency for 31 counties in southern and central Florida.
The storm brought winds of 45 mph to Anna Maria Island around 10:45 a.m. Monday. Residents are bracing for heavy rain and possible flash flooding but Emily is expected to weaken to a tropical depression later Monday as it moves across the Florida peninsula over the next 24 hours.
“While this storm developed quickly overnight and will swiftly move across our state, storms can always develop rapidly and that is why is it so important to be prepared at the start of hurricane season,” Scott said in a statement on Monday.
Emily is expected to dump two to four inches of rain Monday night along the west coast of central Florida between the Tampa Bay area and Naples, according to the 8 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory. In some isolated areas, up to eight inches of rain are possible.
In other areas across central and south Florida, one to two inches of rain is expected, with four inches possible in some areas.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for six counties, including Pinellas, Sarasota and Lee counties.
The state has been monitoring the storm system since it was a tropical depression.
Gov. Scott and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon urged residents to make the proper preparations for the storm. They advised people to visit the FL GetAPlan.com website for resources and information.
No evacuation orders are in effect yet.