SUN PHOTO/MAGGIE FIELD
Tropical Storm Alberto kicked up some nice waves
on Island beaches
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
Minor flooding and beach erosion were the legacy of Tropical
Storm Alberto this week on Anna Maria Island and Longboat
The storm was mostly a rain event, dropping 4.23 inches
on Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport from Sunday
through Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather
Service in Ruskin. Local weather watchers recorded exactly
four inches on Anna Maria Island.
Winds gusted up to 44 miles per hour at the airport during
the storm, and up to 60 miles per hour in Tampa Bay, with
surf at four to six feet on Tuesday and three to five
feet on Sunday and Monday. Tides were up one to two feet.
As a tropical storm warning persisted Tuesday, swimmers
braved the rough surf and swift northerly riptide in the
Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, sightseers walked the beach
in rain gear, intermittently pelted by downpours from
the storm bands and stinging, wind-blown sand.
Rain kept some beachgoers away from the public beaches
on Monday, but lifeguards expected more sightseers on
Tuesday as the storm pushed farther north, Capt. Joe Westerman
Others took the storm seriously, filling sand bags and
bringing in lawn furniture on Monday as public works employees
in all three Island cities checked storm drains and picked
up trash cans from beach accesses.
The storm caused little damage other than minor power
outages from downed lines, West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief
Andy Price said, adding that a few fire alarms went off
due to water infiltration.
Holmes Beach police telephones werent ringing on
Monday due to a problem with the telephone lines. Police
responded to a minor car accident during Sundays
rain and reported a downed power line in front of the
elementary school on Sunday night.
Bradenton Beach police kept a close eye on the slick roads,
reporting nothing unusual other than the sinking of two
boats anchored just south of the Bridge Street Pier.
Anna Maria Public Works Chief George McKay said the storm
did little in Anna Maria other than disrupt lives and
make the streets "bird friendly" with puddles
that will dry up in a day or two.
The Manatee County Sheriffs Office, which covers
the city of Anna Maria and part of Longboat Key, reported
no incidents other than the closing of St. Armands Circle
on Monday due to flooding. Longboat Key fire rescue and
police reported minor flooding in the usual areas.