FLORIDA KEYS -- After last week's daily deluges, July is on track to be the second rainiest month for Key Largo since 1999. Year to date, Marathon is the wettest since the National Weather Service began tracking rainfall in 1998.
Meanwhile, Key West had a record-breaking 3.06 inches of rain last Wednesday.
Thunderstorms in the Upper Keys put construction projects on hold and kept boats at the dock. It left bait and tackle shops empty and outdoor restaurants soggy.
On Thursday, 810 homes in Marathon and 86 on Plantation Key lost power for an hour due to lightning strikes, said Nikki Dunn, spokeswoman for the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative. Wet roads caused at least one vehicle accident with injuries that same day at the mile marker 99 intersection.
Sewer construction on a pipeline to connect Islamorada to Key Largo's sewer plant was halted due to lightning, according Sandy Skeel, who serves as an assistant to Islamorada Wastewater Manager Greg Tindle.
Skeel said the bad weather put crews back 50 percent for the week, but they are still expected to complete that part of the pipeline on time.
As of Friday, July 19, Marathon had received 6.69 inches of rain, more than 2.33 inches above the average, according to the National Weather Service in Key West. Year to date, Marathon had received 35.7 inches of rain as of Friday, which is 19.88 inches above average.
For Key Largo, July had brought 7.69 inches of rain as of Friday, which was two inches off last year's record-setting July rainfall, National Weather Service Forecaster Matthew Bloemer said.
In the Upper Keys, forecasters rely on a rain gauge at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which has occasionally been less than reliable.
According to the Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network, the Upper Keys last week received nearly 7 inches of rain in the same period the National Weather Service gauge measured around 2.5 inches. A South Florida Water Management District radar estimate for the Upper Keys reported 10 inches of rainfall during a two-day period last week.
"It could downpour in one area and nothing up the street," Bloemer said to explain the varying figures.
For the Lower Keys, Key West rainfall is about 11 inches above normal for the year.
Forecasters base rainfall averages on a 30-year mean from 1981 to 2010.
Staff writer Alex Press contributed to this report.