By South Florida Business Journal

Tropical Storm Bonnie gave South Florida a drenching this morning bringing rain and gusty winds to the region.

The center of Tropical Storm Bonnie came ashore near Biscayne Bay in Miami on Friday morning, dropping an average of one inch of rain across the southeast coast by noon Friday. Some areas could see localized rainfall of four inches or more by the time the storm crosses the state.

The center of Bonnie will move across the southern Florida Peninsula today and move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 miles per hour, with higher gusts.

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP PLC said Friday that relief well activities at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident are being temporarily suspended because of Bonnie, which is projected to track into the Gulf. The well has been shut in and BP said it will continue to monitor it as long as weather permits.

No reports of significant flooding had been reported to the South Florida Water District as of Friday afternoon. In preparation,, water managers made prestorm adjustments to operating levels for water control structures throughout the regional flood control system. The district is also coordinating with local drainage districts and municipalities whose canals flow into the regional system.

⿿We are taking all the necessary steps in advance of the storm to ensure water moves through the regional flood control system as quickly and efficiently as possible to minimize the potential impact on our residents,⿝ said Tommy Strowd, SFWMD deputy executive director of operations and maintenance, in a news release.

A relatively dry start to the annual rainy season has created additional water storage capacity, the district said. Since June 1, the 16-county district has received an average of 10.24 inches of rainfall, which is 2.42 inches below normal.

Over the last five years, the district has invested $240 million to help ensure the system of 2,600 miles of canals and levees operates at optimal capacity and provides effective flood control for South Floridaâ¿¿s 7.5 million residents, the agency said.

The district has a new web page to provide information about droughts and flooding.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010