VIDEO: Tropical storm batters Florida coastline

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Tropical Storm Debby continued to pound the Florida coastline Monday, with persistent rain and violent winds causing flooding and keeping the maritime community alert.

The Coast Guard was urging the maritime community to track Debby’s progress and take early action to protect themselves and their vessels. Tropical storm warnings were in effect for parts of Florida as the storm has stalled off the Gulf Coast.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, and tropical-storm-force winds — those 39 mph or stronger — extended 200 miles out from its center. As of Monday morning, Debby was centered about 90 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said.

Click play to view footage of the storm.

The storm has not been severe, but it has been relentless, Sam Chavers, the harbormaster for Marina Jack on Sarasota Bay, told Soundings Trade Only this morning. "Debby has been hanging around for three days now," he said. "I don't think anyone thought we were going to get this much rain."

Chavers said a few boats have suffered minimal damage in the mooring field, but otherwise no severe impact to boats and docks has occurred.

Several boats had broken from their moorings on Sarasota Bay, including a 40-foot pilothouse cruiser and a 25-foot sailboat. Water had risen above the docks of Mote Marine Aquarium's waterfront facility. A few boats had been blown off their trailers at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on City Island.

There is also a continued threat of tornadoes.

Chris Landry

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