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Tropical Depression Swirling Off Florida Threatens Heavy Rain; Flash Floods Hit Ohio

A tropical depression brewing off Florida's coast threatens to bring heavy rains and potential floods.
Image: Northerly wind shear affecting 99-L on Sunday morning is shown in orange and red between South Florida and Cuba.
Northerly wind shear affecting 99-L on Sunday morning is shown in orange and red between South Florida and Cuba.The Weather Channel

Florida was getting set for a soaking as a tropical depression brewing off its southern coast looked likely to strengthen into tropical storm by Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center's (NHC) forecast path showed Tropical Depression Nine moving over the north coast of western Cuba on Monday, bringing possible mudslides, flash floods and as much as a foot of rain to some isolated areas.

The storm will then make its way into the Gulf of Mexico, drenching the Florida Keys and the southern part of the state, the hurricane center said in a 5:00 p.m. ET Monday update. As much as 10 inches of rain is expected in some sections the state's west coast, the center said.

By Tuesday, the center said, the depression is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm.

Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth said that if the storm made landfall it would hit in northern Florida between Apalachicola and Tampa on Thursday afternoon or evening with winds of around 50 mph.

While those two cities are north of the Zika outbreak that has been plaguing the Miami area, heavy rains bring with them the potential for flooding and pools of standing water.

“You obviously don’t want standing water because that will allow the mosquitos to breed,” Roth explained.

Miami Beach officials have been issuing fines — $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 for the second — to residents and business owners who have not dumped or drained standing water, according to NBC Miami.

Gov. Rick Scott previously has warned residents of South Florida to have an emergency plan ready in case flooding occurs.

Related: Tropical System Could Make Fight Against Zika Harder

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, heavy rains on Sunday triggered severe flooding in Connellsville, south of Pittsburgh. Mayor Greg Lincoln declared a state of emergency, warning residents to move to the highest points of their homes and await rescue boats. On Monday, city clerk Vern Ohler told NBC News that 29 homes suffered serious damage due to the deluge.

In southwestern Ohio, downpours sparked flash floods and school closures over the weekend as well. Cincinnati was placed under a flash flood emergency on Sunday evening after thunderstorms poured three inches of rain on the city in the course of a couple of hours, The Weather Channel reported. Up to eight inches fell on parts of the city.

Residents also posted pictures and video of torrents of water rushing down streets. Traffic jams blocked Interstate 71 and some parts of the highway were even closed for the flooding, according to The Weather Channel.

St. Bernard-Elmwood Place City School District — around 6 miles north of Cincinnati — announced all its schools would be closed Monday due to flooding. reported that Norwood City Schools and Roger Bacon High School, and the Hamilton County Learning Center at North Norwood would also be closed Monday due to flooding and storm damage.

No injuries were reported in Ohio or neighboring Kentucky overnight.