Florida braces for possible tropical storm, flooding

Hurricane officials say a storm in the northwestern Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical storm before hitting Florida with flooding rain.

The National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane will investigate the storm near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Sunday afternoon. It already contained thunderstorms and near tropical storm strength winds.

There is a 90 percent chance the weather system could develop into a tropical depression or named storm by Sunday night or Monday morning.

Regardless of development, heavy rains and flooding are expected in the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba, the Florida Keys and Florida’s Gulf Coast over the next few days.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott planned a briefing with state emergency management officials Sunday afternoon.

Sand bags were being distributed to residents in St. Petersburg, Tampa and nearby cities.

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