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Tropical Storm Eta again makes landfall in Florida, brings extensive flooding

Tropical Storm Eta made landfall on Florida early Thursday, bringing high winds and storm surge to a swathe of the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast, just four days after first making landfall there.

One Manatee County man was killed late Wednesday when electrical appliances shocked him as he attempted to sandbag his inundated garage, said Jacob Sauer, the county’s director of public safety.

At least 14,000 Florida residents were without power as of 6 a.m. Thursday.

Eta made landfall at 4 on Cedar Key and packed 50 mph winds.

Overnight, the storm dumped three to seven inches of rain in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota area.

Tampa’s rainfall of 3.99 inches on Wednesday was the wettest November day on record; Sarasota’s 6.41 inches was also the wettest November day on record.

Photos posted online by the Bradenton Police Department showed extensive flooding in that city, which is 45 miles south of Tampa.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, Eta is moving northeast at 13 mph and is located 10 miles west of Gainesville.

It is expected to rapidly weaken Thursday and move over the Atlantic by the afternoon, where it is currently forecast to remain until dissipating.

Thursday’s Florida landfall was Eta’s fourth overall on its winding journey across the Caribbean Sea.

It first made landfall as a deadly Category 4 storm and has visited three countries — Nicaragua, Cuba and the United States — in nine days.

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