SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) Tropical Storm Tammy swept heavy rain and gusty winds into southeast Georgia on Thursday, bringing reports of flooding after leaving Florida practically unscathed.
A wind gust of 46 mph hit St. Simons Island, Ga., where Tammy dropped more than 6 inches of rain before moving inland, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Zibura said.
Several streets in Brunswick were flooded with as many as 4 feet of standing water, Zibura said.
The storm was expected to dump 3 to 5 inches in eastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum amounts could reach 8 to 10 inches.
At 11 p.m. Wednesday, Tammy was a ``minimal tropical storm'' centered 40 miles northwest of Jacksonville, in the area of the Okefenokee Swamp, and was moving to the northwest at 13 mph, weather service meteorologist Jason Hess said in Jacksonville, Fla.
National Hurricane Center
``It will dissipate as it moves northwest over Georgia. I expect it will be downgraded to a tropical depression about 4 a.m.,'' Hess said.
The center of the storm was expected to reach Fitzgerald, Ga. 155 miles southeast of Atlanta around 7 a.m., Zibura said.
``There have been no reports of damage but we have had significant street flooding, mainly along the I-95 corridor,'' Hess said. The main areas affected were in Camden County and Glynn County between Jacksonville and Brunswick, Ga., he said.
Coastal Georgia officials reported few problems other than street flooding, especially on dirt roads.
``It's a little bit wetter than normal, but that's about it,'' Ray T. Parker, emergency management director in McIntosh County, 60 miles south of Savannah, said Wednesday evening. ``We've had one of two areas where the roadway was standing in water for an hour or two, and then it fell back.''
A tropical storm warning was issued from Flagler Beach, north of Daytona Beach, to South Carolina's Santee River. The warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours. Tropical storm winds extended outward up to 200 miles, mainly to the north and east of the storm's center.
At Sea Jay's Cafe and Bar on Jekyll Island, 70 miles north of Jacksonville, few customers braved the weather for dinner Wednesday night and employees secured tables on the outdoor deck from wind gusts.
Chris Muthig, the restaurant's assistant manager, said island residents were wet, but not worried.
``The boaters here, they're not even too upset about it,'' Muthig said. ``Worst case, we may get a little bit of flooding from the marshes when high tide comes in, maybe a little but of erosion on the beach.''
Tammy formed just off Florida's east coast early Wednesday, spreading soaking rains from north Florida to South Carolina. The storm spared Florida the worst of its weather which stayed offshore, north and east of the its eye while tracking along its coast.
``The system has moved right up the coast nicely. It was actually pushing rainfall out of this area (Jacksonville),'' said Steve Letro, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
In southeast Georgia, Brantley County Emergency Management Director William Lartz said rains pushed ahead of Tammy muddied the county's dirt roads Wednesday but posed little threat.
``There's just a little more wind than usual, but otherwise it feels like a summer shower,'' Lartz said Wednesday evening. ``A lot of folks didn't know there was anything there. I had one lady tell me she just came home from work and turned on the TV and saw there was a storm out there.''
Tammy is the 19th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
The 2005 hurricane season is tied for the second-busiest since record-keeping started in 1851; 19 storms also formed in 1995 and 1887. The record for tropical storms and hurricanes in one year is 21, set in 1933.