Tropical Storm Colin brings rain, wind to South Pinellas

Street flooding in Gulfport.

GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Whipping winds and torrential rains made for a stormy afternoon in Gulfport. Water reached the axles of cars trying to drive on the city’s streets.

One driver gambled and lost. “I was coming home from my chiropractor and I should have just stayed on 58th Street. I probably wouldn’t have had this hassle. I don’t think it was quite as bad so I was taking the side streets and I didn’t know. It didn’t look this deep, and it just died on me,” the driver told News Channel 8.

Just down the road, customers crowded O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille. It was one of the few places open as Tropical Storm Colin blew through.

“This is great. Ya know, it’s just right. There’s no harm. There’s no loss. And it’s just exciting enough to keep everybody kind of titillated,” Wolfgang Deininger said.

Strong winds made the rain go sideways as those partying watched from their somewhat dry perch.

“Where else can a wonderful rain shower while drinking beer? Right? That’s what we do in quirky Gulfport,” Bethsabe Bockman-Pedersen said.

Meanwhile, in St. Pete Beach, large waves pounded the deck and tables at Woody’s Waterfront bar and grill. The popular place to grab a burger and a beer was awash in storm-churned salt water.

Several people ignored warnings about rip currents and ventured into the surf.

Nearby, Pinellas County deputies turned away everyone except residents trying to make their way to Pass-a-Grille.

At Upham Beach, the storm started eating away at precious sand.

Colin caused some Pinellas County residents to abandon their cars in favor of kayaks.

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