The Latest: After rain, St. Petersburg pumps sewage into bay

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Posted: Jun 07, 2016 5:25 PM
The Latest: After rain, St. Petersburg pumps sewage into bay

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Tropical Storm Colin (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

The city of St. Petersburg says it is pumping sewage into Tampa Bay because its sewer system has been overloaded with rainwater infiltrating leaky sewer pipes.

Wastewater systems have had a difficult time keeping up with rainfall in recent days as Tropical Storm Colin passed over the state, dropping up to 9 inches of rain in some places.

In a news release Tuesday, Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley said the partially treated sewage will be pumped by a pipe about a quarter of a mile into the bay. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection was notified of the discharge.

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4:10 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center has discontinued all tropical storm warnings as the remnants of Colin speed off into the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters said the center of post-tropical cyclone Colin was moving toward the northeast at close to 40 mph. The center of the storm was expected to move away from the North Carolina coast Tuesday and pass east of the mid-Atlantic coast later in the day.

While maximum sustained winds were at 68 mph with higher gusts, the hurricane center said the strongest winds and heaviest rains are southeast of the center and over water.

The forecast calls for Colin to produce additional rainfall of up to 2 inches in eastern North Carolina, and as much as 5 inches of rain across central Florida through Tuesday evening.

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1:15 p.m.

Officials from St. Pete Beach, Florida, are asking residents to not use the sewer system due to Tropical Storm Colin.

In a news release Tuesday, Mayor Maria Lowe said that the city's sanitary sewer pipe and pump station system is now "completely full and cannot accept any additional flow."

St. Pete Beach is a small community of about 9,500 people on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Lowe said residents and businesses should not takes showers or baths, do laundry, wash dishes or engage in "any other use of water that enters the sanitary sewer system."

City officials said they expect the situation to last for most of Tuesday.

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12:10 a.m.

Duke Energy says some 7,600 customers in Florida are still without power thanks to Tropical Storm Colin.

In a news release, the electric company says crews worked through Monday night to restore power to more than 85,000 of its 1.7 million customers in Florida.

The company says crews have now been relocated to the areas with the highest number of outages, mainly in Pinellas County. They anticipate all storm-related outages will be restored by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The storm system was located some 120 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on Tuesday morning. It came ashore in Florida early Tuesday, flooding many areas along the state's Gulf of Mexico coastline.

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11:10 a.m.

Tropical Storm Colin continues to speed away from the southeastern United States.

The National Weather Service said Colin was about 120 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Highest winds were 60 mph. The storm itself was moving northeast at 35 mph

Forecasters said that should mean that high winds and rains should be ending soon on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

A tropical storm warning was dropped from north of Wilmington, North Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

The warning was still in effect from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet, though forecasters said that warning probably would be dropped early Tuesday afternoon.

The hurricane center said another 1 inch to 2 inches of rain could still fall along the Outer Banks.

Up to 3 more inches of rain were still possible in central Florida.

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10:55 a.m.

On St. Simons Island off the Georgia coast, fisherman Tim Cutting said the marshes did their job and acted as "a big sponge system" as Tropical Storm Colin passed over.

Cutting, who runs fishing charters in the area, said the marshes did what they're supposed to do, flooding and draining as they've done in previous storms.

The National Weather Service reported that about 2.7 inches of rain fell at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport as the storm passed over the area. Far higher amounts of rain — nearly 10 inches in some spots — had fallen in parts of Florida.

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10:35 a.m.

Tropical Storm Colin has saturated North Carolina's Outer Banks, but officials say the area is not suffering because of the heavy rain.

Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said Tuesday the Outer Banks is still soggy from last week's Tropical Storm Bonnie. But Pearson says no major flooding has been reported in the county, which includes pencil-thin swaths of land from Kitty Hawk down to Hatteras Island.

The National Weather Service dropped a tropical storm warning for northern Georgia, South Carolina and the southeastern coast of North Carolina at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

But the warning continues in part of North Carolina, from just north of Wilmington to Oregon Inlet, which is just south of Nags Head on the Outer Banks.

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10 a.m.

A survey team in Florida is investigating a possible tornado related to Tropical Storm Colin that damaged homes and toppled trees on Jacksonville's west side.

The National Weather Service says wind gusts were measured at 40-to-60 mph in some areas, and the storm dropped nearly 6.5-inches of rain in some areas of north Florida.

Officials are warning people to watch out for weakened tree limbs and other debris from the storm, and urging drivers to avoid flooded areas.

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8:40 a.m.

Tropical Storm Colin continues to move away from the southeastern coast of the United States, but not before dumping heavy rain along North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The National Weather Service dropped a tropical storm warning for northern Georgia, South Carolina and the southeastern coast of North Carolina at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

But the warning continues in part of North Carolina, from just north of Wilmington to Oregon Inlet, which is just south of Nags Head on the Outer Banks.

Forecasters say up to another 3 inches of rain could fall along the Outer Banks. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are still possible.

Schools in Wilmington were opening two hours later than usual.

Duke Energy reported just a handful of customers without service in eastern North Carolina.

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8:15 a.m.

Some cities in Florida got 9 inches of rain during Tropical Storm Colin.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday that parts of Pinellas County, along Florida's Gulf Coast, got that much rain. Other areas, from Levy to Sarasota counties, were also soaked with 1 to 6 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

Flood warnings were issued in many parts of the Tampa Bay area and Tuesday's commute was shaping up to be a difficult one with roads underwater and in some areas, closed entirely. Rain fell steadily in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area overnight.

Storms are expected to continue through the afternoon.

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8 a.m.

Susie Morris, the proprietor of the Lighthouse Inn Bed & Breakfast on Georgia's Tybee Island, said she awoke Tuesday to no wind and no rain.

Morris said that to her relief, Tropical Storm Colin had not flooded the inn, a restored 1910 home.

The National Hurricane Center said Colin marked the earliest that a third named storm has ever formed in the Atlantic basin. Morris said she's not worried about the early start to the 2016 hurricane season, but will continue to listen to weather reports and take precautions when needed.

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7:10 a.m.

Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Colin's forward progress to speed up during the day Tuesday as it chugs along the southeast coast, most likely just off shore.

Jack Beven, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said the storm was moving at 31 mph early Tuesday morning, and was expected to move even faster later in the day.

Beven said the storm's track will be roughly parallel to the U.S. coast as it moves northeast near the South Carolina and North Carolina coast.

Beven said there's a chance for 1 to 3 inches of rain in parts of the Carolinas.

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6:25 a.m.

Tropical Storm Colin seems to be bypassing South Carolina.

No rain was reported early Tuesday across the state, although earlier rain has brought the usual street flooding in downtown Charleston.

The National Weather Service still has a tropical storm warning in effect for the entire coast, although winds are expected to be only around 15 to 25 mph, with occasional gusts up to 35 mph. Forecasters say no additional rain is expected.

No injuries have been reported.

Transportation Department officials say parts of nine roads are closed, six in Charleston County and three in Jasper County.

South Carolina Electric & Gas reported 72 customers without service Tuesday morning. Jasper County had the biggest problem with about three dozen customers without service.

Duke Energy reported only a handful of customers without service.

Meanwhile, Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist, at the U.S. National Hurricane Center, says 1 to 3 inches of rain are possible along the coast of North Carolina.

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5:35 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Colin's center is moving into the Atlantic east of the Georgia coast.

The storm's maximum sustained winds Tuesday morning are near 50 mph (85 kph). Some strengthening is expected, but the storm is forecast to lose its tropical cyclone status by Tuesday night.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, Colin was centered about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south-southwest of Charleston, South Carolina, and moving northeast near 31 mph (50 kph).

Colin is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain across western to northern Florida, southeast Georgia and coast areas of the Carolinas through Tuesday. Isolated areas could see up to 10 inches.

Also, tornadoes will be a possibility across parts of the coastal Carolinas on Tuesday.

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2:10 a.m.

The National Weather Service says Tropical Storm Colin has made landfall and is bringing high winds and heavy rain to northern Florida.

The weather service says the center of the storm was located about 55 miles (90 kilometers) west-southwest of Jacksonville early Tuesday morning.

It says the storm's maximum sustained winds were around 50 mph (85 kph) with higher gusts and it is moving to the northeast at 23 mph (37 kph).

It is expected to continue moving in that direction at a faster speed over the next 48 hours.

Colin is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain across western to northern Florida, southeast Georgia and coast areas of the Carolinas through Tuesday. Isolated areas could see up to 10 inches.