Flood watch in effect as weak tropical disturbance approaches

FORT MYERS, Fla. A flood watch has been issued for Lee County as a weak tropical disturbance draws near, the National Weather Service said.

The watch is in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday evening.

Rain chances across Southwest Florida will increase throughout the day Friday and remain for Saturday and Sunday, WINK meteorologist Matt Devitt said. Two to four inches could fall over the next three or four days, WINK meteorologist Zach Maloch said.

Collier County officials are urging residents to clear any remaining Hurricane Irma debris blocking drains, grates and swales.

“The one thing that I’m not a fan of, at least with this tropical disturbance, is that it’s going to bring in more rain in spots, especially for those who do not need anymore,” Devitt said.

In Lee County around the Imperial River and in the Bonita Springs area, water levels are already 4.5 feet above normal.

The system is expected to move northward toward Florida in the coming days, though it’s track beyond then is inconclusive. A chance exists that it could develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm Nate, but no major impacts beyond rain are expected in Southwest Florida, Devitt said.

The rain and clouds will keep temperatures cooler than they have been. Friday’s high is expected to reach only 87.