Incredibly strong winds from Hurricane Irma have actually sucked the water out of Tampa Bay on Sunday morning. The same phenomenon appeared to have taken place earlier in the Bahamas.
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean explained that the hurricane’s fierce winds are responsible for having pushed the water out of the harbor. All that’s left of the bay, which reportedly was full of choppy, white-capped water earlier Sunday morning, is a goopy mix of sludge and puddles. (See video, below.)
“The worrisome part will be later when the winds start pushing the water back,” said Dean.
Receding waters are often a signal that a tsunami could cause a deluge rushing back in, but hurricane “bulge” is a different situation. The hurricane can draw water toward the center, pulling it away from its surroundings, according to a Washington Post report. Extremely low pressure from the hurricane will cause the center of the storm to draw water upward.
While Irma heads for the southwest Florida coast after making landfall in the Florida Keys just after 9 a.m. Sunday, there’s no telling when the water will return to Tampa Bay. However, the water could come rushing back in, which means that residents should stay clear of the area until after the storm passes and the bay looks normal.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn asked residents to help each other get to safety.
“We are about to get punched in the face by this storm. We need to be prepared,” he warned.
— Sossy Dombourian (@sossyd) September 10, 2017
— Kevin Rincon (@KevRincon) September 10, 2017
Several cities across Tampa Bay are now enacting emergency curfews as the hurricane closes in:
- ST. PETERSBURG : Curfew will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday and remain in effect until further notice. All residents must be off the roads and taking shelter. Once winds reach 40+mph, police and fire will no longer be able to respond to citizen calls. They will resume responding once conditions are safe.
- MANATEE COUNTY: A 24-hour curfew begins on Sunday at 3 p.m. People are to remain off local roads as Hurricane Irma approaches the area.
- CITY OF TAMPA: A 6 p.m. curfew has been issued for the city’s residents which will be enforced for the days ahead until otherwise noted.
— Jillian Mele (@jillianmele) September 10, 2017
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Storm Rider tries to measure IRMA wind speeds (crazy video!)