Tropical Storm Eta brought plenty of rain and wind to the Tampa Bay area last week after winding around the Gulf of Mexico for about 11 days.
Gulf Coast neighborhoods and West Pasco areas prone to flooding did feel Eta’s effects Wednesday, but damage was limited. Pasco, like neighboring counties, declared states of emergency before Eta’s arrival. Schools released students early Wednesday in preparation for the storm and classes were canceled Thursday.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reported flooded roadways from Holiday to Hudson in West Pasco, as well as a downed tree that blocked a roadway in Dade City.
Sporadic power outages were reported Wednesday and lasted into Thursday. Duke Energy reported 84 power outages along the U.S. Highway 19 corridor as of Thursday night, with 82 of them in the areas of Holiday and Elfers. Compared to Pinellas County, Pasco escaped with far fewer outages. More than 2,000 Pinellas residents remained without Duke Energy power as of Thursday night.
Many Pasco County and municipal facilities and services closed in anticipation of Eta’s arrival but reopened by Friday, including schools. Pasco County Public Transportation suspended all services Wednesday afternoon and began running services about 24 hours later after assessing routes and roadways.
Eta affected many COVID-19 testing sites as well, such as the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County and BayCare location at Gulfview Square Mall in Port Richey.