Dennis’ impact on the Tampa Bay area has been relatively minimal. We have had some strong wind and rain bands pass through, but it has all been moving quite fast, so the overall impact has been limited. We haven’t even had the power flicker here, and while I will have to rake the yard Monday, I have nothing but little twigs and leaves to get up.
Dennis hit Cuba as a strong Category 4 storm. It had nearly reached Category 5 status. However, it hit at such a point and on an angle that kept it over the island for a good while. By the time it came off Cuba, it was barely a category 1 storm, but it has re-strengthened pretty significantly. The direction started back bending to the west, which moved it well clear of us. While the Florida Keys were evacuated, they did take a good hit, but it wasn’t devastating down there either.
I do believe a few small tornadoes have been been spun off in this area. There are some roofs around that are damaged, and some out buildings that have been tossed about, but all that seems pretty scattered. There are no really big areas of devastation or damage, and while Pinellas County (St. Pete) issued voluntary evacuations for flood prone areas, I really haven’t even heard anything about flood problems anywhere.
It does appear that Alabama and the eastern areas of the pan handle are going to take another really had hit. This is going to be an especially hard blow for those folks, as they still have debris piles around from last year, so they are not even yet fully recovered from their Ivan hit.