Mindy leaves Florida as quick as it came. Panhandle left with downed trees, power outages

By Alex Harris

MIAMI — After making landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday evening, Tropical Storm Mindy weakened to a depression and exited off the coast of Georgia.

Thousands of Floridians had their power knocked out after the storm, which hit four hours after forming, came ashore with 45 mph sustained winds. Northeast Tallahassee saw a flash flood warning after it received 4 inches of rain, and there were reports of downed trees blocking roads.

The city of Tallahassee tweeted at 7 a.m. Eastern time that of the 9,000 customers who lost power, 7,000 had been restored. As of 8 a.m., Gulf Power’s outage map showed no more outages in the area when Tropical Storm Mindy crossed.

Now the National Hurricane Center is watching a new disturbance, a tropical wave, in a similar spot to where Mindy was first tracked a week ago. This disturbance near the northeast coast of Honduras had a 10% chance of forming in the next two days and a 30% chance of forming in the next five, as of the 2 p.m. update.

Forecasters said it might see slightly better conditions for strengthening into a tropical depression or storm before it crosses Mexico.

The other disturbance in the Atlantic Basin had a higher shot of strengthening this week. Forecasters said this “strong tropical wave” is expected to emerge off Africa’s west coast on Saturday, and a tropical depression could form next week.

As of 2 p.m., it had a 10% chance of developing in the next two days and a 60% shot of developing in the next five.

Hurricane Larry, a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds, passed within several hundred miles of Bermuda on Thursday. The island is under a tropical storm warning.

The powerful storm is set to approach Newfoundland later this week as a hurricane, prompting hurricane watch and tropical storm warnings for the region.


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