Tropical Storm Marco pushed northward up Florida's Gulf Coast Thursday with 65-mph winds that left thousands without power, prompted school closings and damaged homes and buildings.

The only injury reported early Thursday was a driver whose car was trapped under a tree torn down by fierce winds in Sarasota County. The man was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition.About 8,000 homes were left without power in Manatee County and another 4,500 homes in Sarasota County were blacked out after Marco passed through shortly before 7 a.m., county emergency officials said.

Work crews began repairing the downed power lines after the brunt of the storm moved north toward the Tampa Bay area.

At 7 a.m., the storm was 20 miles south of St. Petersburg, near latitude 27.4 north and longitude 82.7 west and was moving northwest near 9 mph. The storm was expected to make landfall by late morning in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area, the largest on Florida's west coast with a population of more than 500,000.