Just before landfall, a state of emergency was declared for 31 Florida counties in the path of Tropical Storm Emily.
Two fishermen have been rescued in Tampa Bay, where the Sunshine Skyway bridge was closed because of high winds from the storm. Flight delays have been reported at Tampa International Airport.
The quick-hitting Tropical Storm Emily wasted little time dumping heavy rain on parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast, and officials didn’t wait long to escalate the severity of their warnings to the public.
I’ve declared a state of emergency in 31 counties in response to Tropical Storm Emily: https://t.co/VmOREXmqoN (1/3)
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) July 31, 2017
Late Monday morning, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 31 of Florida’s 67 counties in the path of the storm’s worst impacts. The emergency declaration includes the Tampa area, where some of the heaviest rainfall is expected to fall in the early stages of Emily’s interaction with land.
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) July 31, 2017
As he met with the state’s Emergency Operations Center, Scott asked residents in the path of the storm to remain vigilant.
The Coast Guard said it rescued two fishermen who were found in Tampa Bay just before 10 a.m. EDT Monday morning. 47-year-old Tung Le and 41-year-old Thanh Le were fishing aboard their 17-foot boat when the engine died and the craft began to sink. Twenty minutes after the 911 call, a crew reached the boat and rescued the men.
The weather conditions forced officials to close the Sunshine Skyway due to the high winds from Emily. More than a dozen flights were delayed Monday morning at Tampa International Airport.
Tropical Storm Emily was downgraded to a tropical depression late Monday afternoon.