1 dead after tropical storm hits Florida
MIAMI -- Slow-moving Tropical Storm Debby's outer bands lashed Florida with rain and kicked up rough surf off Alabama Sunday, prompting storm warnings for those states and causing at least one death.
The death in Florida was blamed on a tornado spawned by the storm, while a man went missing in the Gulf of Mexico at an Alabama beach.
Coastal Alabama and parts of Florida, including the Panhandle, were under tropical storm warnings. Underscoring the storm's unpredictable nature, forecasters discontinued a tropical storm warning for Louisiana after forecast models indicated Debby wasn't likely to turn west.
Debby already has dumped heavy rain on parts of Florida and spawned some isolated tornadoes, causing damage to homes and knocking down power lines.
High winds forced the closure of an interstate bridge that spans Tampa Bay and links St. Petersburg with areas to the southeast. Residents in several counties near the crook of Florida's elbow were urged to leave low-lying neighborhoods because of the threat of flooding.
Debby was essentially stationary about 115 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla., Sunday evening. While storm tracks are difficult to discern days in advance, a forecast map predicted that the storm would meander north as the week unfolds.
Debby's top sustained winds were at about 60 mph.