Cedar Key: Bracing for Debby, storm dropping much needed rain

Streets flooded, minor damage on shoreline

CEDAR KEY, Fla. - Swamped streets, sideways rain and rough seas have taken over the landscape of coastal Cedar Key. 

"I'm worried the storm will come through here, but I'm not afraid of it," says Sam Torres, a resident.

The rain is inconvenient, but also welcomed by locals. Any rain from Tropical Storm Debby helps the area climb out of a severe drought. So severe, the city's water system had to be shut down.

"Due to the drought we had salt water intrusion in our water system. The only water available is bottled, or potable water being brought in on tanks," says Police Chief Virgil Standlin.

At the Park Place Hotel signs warn customers not to drink the water. 

"Just letting people know it's not harmful as far as bacteria, but you don't want to cook with it or drink it," says Stephanie Hostetter, a hotel employee. 

Staffers have bottled on hand for thirsty guests.

Strong waves have been pushing up against Jay Edge's bar for days now. Some water did make its way onto his bar floor, but not enough to concern him.

The shutdown of the city water system worries him more than Tropical Storm Debby.

"We're all going to have to install reverse osmosis water systems and those aren't cheap," says Edge.

Edge says if the winds get stronger as the center of the storm makes landfall, he'll close his shutters just to be safe.

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