BRADENTON, Fla. – Tropical Storm Emily smacked the west coast of Florida Monday morning, surprising communities from Fort Myers all of the way up to Tampa.
A manager from a Bradenton restaurant showed Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol video of the wind and rain shaking windows and sending waves crashing into the shore.
Once the worst of the storm cleared, neighbors found flooded roads and downed trees.
"It was calm weather yesterday, and then today it was just a downpour, and then winds and trees blowing down and all sorts of crazy stuff," Bradenton resident Terrance Evans said.
Some residents said their power was knocked out for hours, and now they're dealing with minor damage around their homes.
"When we came out this morning, a section of my fence was actually down. So it blew that down, and there's trees down everywhere," Mike Meabon said.
Many people said this was the first time in a long time that they've felt this much of a storm's effect.
"Usually, when a hurricane comes, it's nothing, but this is a tropical storm and it's a lot worse than a hurricane usually is," Alisha White said.
Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency to ensure that the areas that were hit hardest have access to any resources they need.
The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression shortly before 5 p.m. Monday.
Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm.