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Tropical Storm Emily drenches Fort Myers Beach

August 1, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Tropical Storm Emily, named Monday morning and declassified by Monday afternoon, was short lived on the Gulf coast.

The storm made landfall on Anna Maria Island, in Manatee County, Monday morning. Fort Myers Beach felt the effects of the lower regions of the storm, which stretched down to Naples, causing wind gusts and heavy rainfalls throughout the day.

The Outrigger Hotel's roofing membrane was blown off early in the morning, causing some on the island to believe the whole roof was blown away. But Jeanne Bigos, general manager, said it was just the upper material, not the roof itself.

Article Photos

Fort Myers Beach resident Heather Lodovico shared photos of Washington Avenue, which was mostly underwater during Monday’s rains.

She said the roofing membrane seemed to have failed, not that there were any bursts of wind or tornadoes that took it off. She commended Crowther Roofing of Fort Myers for sending its crews out into the rain to help.

"They had 30 to 50 people here, they had a bucket truck, two dumpsters, a crane that took the membrane off, all of these within an hour of me calling," she said, adding she was very impressed with the company's work.

By Monday afternoon, the roofing material was already properly restored.

"The rooms are dry, no one was injured. We were very blessed," Bigos said.

The Outrigger's room may have been dry, but Fort Myers Beach's streets saw the usual flooding from the Red Coconut south.

Many of the residential streets were under water for the day as stormwater pooled together.

Segment 1 of the Estero Boulevard stormwater project upheld its purpose during the onslaught of rain, however, draining Estero Boulevard and keeping it clear of collected runoff from Crescent Street to Lovers Lane.

The storm did put a halt to Monday's planned schedule of work on the ReFresh Estero project, said Kay Molnar, spokeswoman for the project and CEO of Cella Molnar, the company overseeing the project.

"We do not expect TS Emily to have a significant impact on the project schedule," she said. "Lee County is pleased with the performance of the drainage system in the completed Segment 1."

When the tropical depression six was named to a tropical storm at 8 a.m. Monday, Lee County was included on Governor Rick Scott's State of Emergency list. The storm weakened in the afternoon and was downgraded back to a tropical depression again, according to the National Weather Service.



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