Barry brings rain, no significant damage
|Island visitors take a walk on the short pier at Manatee Public Beach June 2, as tropical storm Barry approached the Gulf Coast. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff
|The rain late Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, reduced visibility for motorists on the Island, but was welcomed by residents of the Island and throughout the drought-stricken state.
|After the storm, surfers head out to ride the waves in Bradenton Beach.
|Barry brought waves and wave-riders to Anna Maria Island. Islander Photo: Annie Williams.
|A barge lists and rests on the rocks at the Lake Lavista Inlet near the Anna Maria City Pier. Islander Photo: Jack Elka
Barry broke out of the box early - bringing the first tropical
storm to the Gulf Coast just hours into the 2007 hurricane
After weeks without rainfall, local residents rejoiced at Barry's
existence, even as they fretted about predictions for an above-normal
"We need the rain bad," Dick
Hyde of Anna Maria said Saturday morning, as forecasters predicted the disorganized
Barry to make landfall on the coast about six hours later. "I'm grateful
for the rain. But I wish it was just a typical thunderstorm."
if anyone needed a nudge to get prepared, Barry gave it," said Sharon Hyde.
In May, subtropical storm
Andrea out of the Atlantic sent unwelcome smoke from
northern wildfires to Anna Maria Island.
June 1, Barry brought welcome rain, as well as wind
and waves that built over night to June 2. Storm warnings were issued
along the Gulf coast, from Bonita Beach to Keaton Beach.
Islanders woke Saturday
to find that Barry was predicted to make landfall late
morning Saturday in Pinellas County, just north of Tampa Bay, posing
a threat of coastal flooding, wind damage, tornadoes and creating dangerous
sea conditions and the possiblilty of water spouts.
9 a.m., with thunder rumbling over the Gulf, rainfall
was strong enough to impair visibility on the roads.
At 10 a.m.
rain stopped and clouds moved north, leaving blue,
sunny skies. But many residents, especially those nearest water, remained
concerned about the high tide, set for about 12:15 p.m. along Anna Maria
At the noon hour, residents living along
canals and near the bay, especially in Holmes Beach,
found water spilling into streets, including Gulf and Marina drives.
Water pushed up into yards as well, but Manatee County emergency officials
reported no significant property damage in the area.
Storms off the Gulf can pose a threat to
sea turtle nests, but Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch
executive director Suzi Fox said Saturday that no nests were lost to
Barry and only one needed to be relocated. Meanwhile, as Barry approached
late Friday, June 1, two turtles came ashore to nest.
As Barry moved on and dissipated into a
depression June 2, surfers arrived to the shore to
ride the waves.
aren't so good," said
surfer Tammy White of Lakewood Ranch. "But they're better than usual
around here. This isn't Surf City." Surfers lingered into the afternoon
The impact of Barry lingered longer - on
Saturday night an Energy Resource barge in the Lake LaVista Inlet for a dredge
project listed, causing about 15 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into the water
and sending the boat into the rocks, said Anna Maria City public works director
George McKay. He said there was no sign of significant damage to the vessel.
dredging is part of an Anna Maria City effort that
began last week to remove sand and replace the rip-rap that has washed
into the channel, narrowing the waterway and eroding the bank.
Also on the bay side in Anna Maria Sunday,
yellow caution tape and a sign barred entry to the
Rod & Reel Pier, which
was closed. Routine repairs were previously scheduled for Monday and Tuesday,
but a broken utility pipe forced an early closure at the pier, which suffered
other minor storm damage.
According to the National Weather Service
office in Ruskin, the area received from 2 to 6 inches
of rain from June 1 through June 2. Rainfall in Manatee
County is reported from a gauge at the Sarasota Bradenton
International Airport, which malfunctioned.
Going into this week, the forecast
for the Island included a chance of thunderstorms through
Wednesday and highs in the low 80s.
Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's climate prediction center projected a 75 percent chance
of an above-normal hurricane season this year. Scientists predicted 13 to 17
named storms, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes. The government agency predicted
three to five storms could be Category 3 or stronger.