LIVE OAK, FL (AP) - Florida officials say Tropical Storm Debby was responsible for seven deaths in the state.
State emergency operations spokeswoman Jessica Sims said Thursday that two people died in Pinellas County, including a 41-year-old woman caught in a riptide Wednesday at St. Pete Beach.
Storm-related deaths were also reported in Highlands, Pasco, Polk, Lake and Madison counties. Last weekend, a South Carolina man disappeared in the rough surf off the Gulf coast of Alabama.
Thursday morning, lifeguards on Clearwater Beach helped three people from the water who got caught in a rip current. On Wednesday, eight people were pulled from rip currents on St. Pete Beach, including the female victim.
Debby hovered in the Gulf of Mexico for days before slowly blowing across northern Florida this week; the storm dumped more than two feet of water in some parts.
On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott traveled to some of the hardest-hit areas in Florida to survey flood damages.
The Associated Press