Florida governor declares state of emergency after Tropical Storm Colin makes landfall

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Tropical Storm Colin made a mess as it moved across northern Florida early Tuesday, flooding roads and knocking out power to thousands.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 34 of the state's 67 counties as the storm churned its way across the state into southeast Georgia. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Colin marked the earliest that a third named storm has ever formed in the Atlantic basin.

By 5 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the storm was moving into the Atlantic, away from the Georgia coast.

Scott told the Associated Press that there were no reports of major damage, but the state will be tracking flooding from the sudden deluge of rain, much of which fell during high tides Monday. He said Florida has seen severe flooding in unlikely places after previous storms.

The center of the storm reached land late Monday in the area of Apalachee Bay in the state's Big Bend region.

"We'll just see how well it runs off," Scott said. "I always remember back to (Tropical Storm) Isaac in 2012, it went west but we had unbelievable flooding in Palm Beach County."

Colin's maximum sustained winds Tuesday morning were near 50 mph with some strengthening forecast after the storm moved into the Atlantic. But the NHC said Colin was expected to lose its tropical cyclone status by Tuesday night.

The storm disrupted schools and summer programs. Many were dismissed early Monday, and two high school graduations in the Tampa Bay area were postponed due to the storms, with both ceremonies being moved to Wednesday night and Thursday. High winds also closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa.

At Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge roads were flooded and businesses sent people home early.

The high winds and rain also knocked out power to about 10,000 Floridians heading into Monday evening from the Tampa Bay area to Jacksonville.

Colin produced rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches, and forecasters said up to 8 inches were possible across north Florida, southeastern Georgia and coastal areas of the Carolinas through Tuesday.

Not everyone in Florida was hunkering down. About 50 people were in the water with surfboards off Treasure Island to take advantage of the rare 2-3-foot swells breaking in the Gulf's warm waters.

"It's like man against nature," said Derek Wiltison of Atlantic Beach. "Surfers tend to drop what they're doing — work, relationships, whatever — to go out and catch a wave."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.