Coastal flooding in Pinellas

- Strong winds and heavy, constant rain washed out some Bay Area beach communities on Monday.

By the early evening hours, wind gusts reached up to 50 mph on Madeira Beach. Continuous rain washed out nearby neighborhoods.

"I've been coming over here for five or six years, and this, this is crazy," Clearwater Beach resident Tom Hamilton said Monday.

Hamilton decided to ride out the storm from a friend's Madeira Beach home, just off of Gulf Boulevard.

"There wasn't much lightning from what I saw. But the wind, oh my goodness, yeah. You could go hang gliding without trying!" Hamilton laughed.

But for some beachside businesses, Tropical Storm Colin was no laughing matter. A covered waiting area at Hubbard's Marina in John's Pass flooded Monday afternoon. The lower boardwalk of John's Pass was periodically overtaken by water.

Pinellas County Emergency Operations opened their command center early Monday morning to address resident concerns and flooding. They said the areas of greatest concern were Tarpon Woods, Shore Acres, and the county's beach communities.

Pinellas EOC also warned residents and visitors to avoid the county beaches Monday into Tuesday morning. High winds, heavy rain, and rip current warnings made for dangerous conditions.

Pinellas County Public Schools closed schools an hour and a half early Monday due to the severe weather.

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