The Associated Press,
STEINHATCHEE, Fla. (AP) _ Tropical Storm Fay crossed into the Florida Panhandle on Saturday, becoming the first storm of its kind in recorded history to hit the state four different times.
Fay's center made landfall around about 15 miles north-northeast of
Fay was expected to finally leave the state on Saturday as it skirted across the Panhandle's coast and reached the coasts of
Though Fay never materialized into a hurricane, downpours along its zigzagging path have been punishing and deadly.
At least six people in
"The damage from Fay is a reminder that a tropical storm does not have to reach a hurricane level to be dangerous and cause significant damage," said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who toured flooded communities this week.
Crist on Friday asked the White House to elevate the disaster declaration President Bush issued to a major disaster declaration. Crist said the storm damaged 1,572 homes in
Counties in the Panhandle including Bay,
In Steinhatchee, just south of
In an area that can flood badly when high tide rolls in during a bad storm, she said most people remain prepared. "We've all got our generators filled up with gas and oil and our nonperishable food," Watson said.
At Saturday, the center of the storm was located about 20 miles southeast of
Fay's wake caused widespread flooding along
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said almost 4,000 flood claims from Fay had been filed so far.
Fay has been an unusual storm, even by
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Go away, Fay: Storm hits
Governor declares disaster; third dose of Fay to
bring up to 30 inches of rain
The Associated Press,
MELBOURNE, Fla. - For a fourth weary day, Tropical Storm Fay continued its soggy march through Florida Thursday, forcing dozens more residents to flee floodwaters and even driving alligators and snakes out of their habitats and into streets.
Residents were beginning to get tired of Fay, which made landfall in the state again on Thursday for the third time this week. Flooding was especially acute along the Atlantic coast from Port St. Lucie to
"This is the worst I've absolutely ever seen it," said Mike White, 57, after he was rescued by the National Guard from floodwaters lapping at the doorstep of his mobile home.
The erratic and stubborn storm has dumped more than two feet of rain along parts of
If the water itself wasn't enough, people in flooded parts of the area known as the
Florida National Guardsman Steve Johnson, 45, said he was wading through hip-deep water Wednesday night with a flashlight when an alligator drifted by.
"I said. 'What the heck is that?' and there was an alligator floating by," Johnson said Thursday. "I took my flashlight and was like, 'You've got to be kidding me, a big old alligator swimming around here.'"
Governor declares disaster
In Carla Viotto's backyard in Indialantic, located outside of
"It looked just like a junk yard," she said Thursday.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who visited the area Thursday, has already asked the Bush administration to declare a federal disaster in the region to help with the storm's costs.
"This storm is going to be with us for a while," Crist said at a news conference.
The outer bands of Fay continued to pour sporadic rains Thursday along the 100-mile
Mary Neff watched the rain come and go for a second straight day Thursday in coastal
"We're kind of just waiting," Mary Neff said Thursday afternoon. "It needs to come and get gone so we can get back to what we were doing."
'This is insane'
At , the storm began sluggishly moving west at about 2 mph, still with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. The storm's center was located almost directly above
No deaths have been reported in
With the rain deluge passing to the north, the sun began to dry out some
"I'm ready to get back to work. This is insane. It'll drive you nuts being stuck like this," said Barry Johnson, 44, of Port St. Lucie.
© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.