Floods Cut Part of I-10 as Debby Storms Over Fla.

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ST. GEORGE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Parts of Interstate 10, the main highway across northern Florida, have been closed by flooding today as Tropical Storm Debby hangs offshore over the Gulf of Mexico, drenching Florida with rain.

Forecasters expect the region to get as much as 8 inches more, and some places could see as much as two feet of rain by the time it's all over.

The National Hurricane Center says Debby is on a path that would slowly take it across the state and into the Atlantic by Friday. Debby's top winds are barely tropical storm status, at 45 miles an hour, but with the torrential rain it's creating rough surf.

Emergency officials say flooding is the main concern. People in several sparsely populated counties near the crook of Florida's elbow have been urged to leave low-lying neighborhoods.

In the Tampa Bay area, a number of roads, including Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard, have been washed out. To the north, the Florida Highway Patrol closed portions of I-10. Troopers report flooding in several areas where it crosses I-75.

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122-a-06-(John Cangialosi (kan-juh-LOH'-see), hurricane specialst, National Hurricane center, in AP interview)-"across North Florida"-Hurricane specialist John Cangialosi says Tropical Storm Debby is expected to take a couple of days to cross Florida after the center of the lumbering storm finally makes it over land. (26 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *122 (06/26/12)>> 00:06 "across North Florida"

GRAPHICSBANK: Tropical Storm Debby over Northeastern Gulf of Mexico and Florida (6/25/2012 at 22:01 UTC), NASA GOES satellite image (25 Jun 2012)

APPHOTO FLTAM101: Water covers Bayshore Blvd in Tampa, most of which has been closed by the Tampa Police Department, on Monday, June 25 2012. A tropical storm warning is in effect the west coast of Florida Monday, including the Tampa Bay area, as Tropical Storm Debby began showing a movement to the northeast. (AP Photo/Tampa Tribune, Paul Lamison) ST. PETERSBURG OUT; LAKELAND OUT; BRADENTON OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WTSP CH 10 OUT; WFTS CH 28 OUT; WTVT CH 13 OUT; BAYNEWS 9 OUT (25 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLTAM101 (06/25/12)>>

APPHOTO FLTAM103: A City of Tampa truck makes it's way down a flooded Bayshore Blvd. on Monday, June 25 2012. A tropical storm warning is in effect the west coast of Florida Monday, including the Tampa Bay area, as Tropical Storm Debby began showing a movement to the northeast. (AP Photo/Tampa Tribune, Paul Lamison) ST. PETERSBURG OUT; LAKELAND OUT; BRADENTON OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WTSP CH 10 OUT; WFTS CH 28 OUT; WTVT CH 13 OUT; BAYNEWS 9 OUT (25 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLTAM103 (06/25/12)>>

APPHOTO FLSAR104: A sailboat that broke free from it's mooring is pushed against a sea wall at Bayfront Park in Sarasota, Fla. by winds from Tropical Storm Debby on Monday, June 25, 2012. Tropical Storm Debby drenched Florida with heavy rains, flooded low-lying neighborhoods and knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses as it lingered off the state's coast Monday. (AP Photo/Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Mike Lang) CHARLOTTE SUN OUT, BRADENTON HERALD OUT, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, INTERNET OUT, NO SALES (25 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLSAR104 (06/25/12)>>

APPHOTO FLDM105: A Florida Highway Patrolman warns motorists about high water in Medart, Fla., Tuesday, June 26, 2012. Heavy rains from the approaching Tropical Storm Debby caused wind and rain damage. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) (26 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLDM105 (06/26/12)>>

APPHOTO FLSAR102: Motorists drive through a flooded section of Beach Rd. near Siesta Key Public Beach in on Monday, June 25, 2012 after rain from Tropical Storm Debby filled streets and parking lots with water on the Sarasota, Fla. barrier island. Tropical Storm Debby drenched Florida with heavy rains, flooded low-lying neighborhoods and knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses as it lingered off the state's coast Monday. (AP Photo/Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Elaine Litherland) CHARLOTTE SUN OUT, BRADENTON HERALD OUT, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, INTERNET OUT, NO SALES (25 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO FLSAR102 (06/25/12)>>

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