MIAMI — Parts of Florida were pummeled with heavy rain and wind Saturday as a storm system that had battered Mexico moves across the state.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said thein the Atlantic Ocean basin, once it reaches tropical storm status.
As of 5 p.m. ET, a tropical storm warning had been discontinued for Florida’s east coast, but was still in effect for the northwestern Bahamas and Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm’s center was located about 40 miles northeast of Fort Pierce, Florida, and about 950 miles west-southwest of Bermuda. It was moving northeast at 18 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The storm is expected to reach tropical storm strength off the East Coast of Florida by Saturday night and is expected to strengthen through Monday as it moves away from Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean, NHC said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said most government services, such as bus routes and trains, planned to operate as normal over the weekend. Canal levels in South Florida have been lowered to minimize flooding from heavy rains.
Drainage concerns began in downtown Miami as rain began to fall, according to CBS Miami. Some travelers were hindered by flight delays as well.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially began Tuesday. This is an unusually early start to the storm season but not unprecedented for Florida.
The National Hurricane Center predicts that rainfall up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) is possible in South Florida, including the Florida Keys. The storm is not expected to produce huge winds or major storm surge. But local flooding is likely.