Hurricane Ian Sucks Tampa Bay Dry Ahead Of Landfall




Stunning video and photos taken along Florida's western coast show Tampa Bay waterways sucked completely dry ahead of Hurricane Ian's arrival Wednesday.

Ian's powerful winds pushed water away from the shore and into the gulf, similar to what happened just before Hurricane Irma's arrival in 2017.

But experts warned that the receding tide, called a negative storm surge, is only temporary and that water will return, likely at much higher levels.

"Don't go out there. It's so dangerous to go out there," National Weather Service Director Ken Graham said at a news conference Wednesday morning. "Even if you see the water receding, it's not the time to go out there and look at it and collect shells or whatever it is. We've seen this, and these types of storms, when the winds come down, when the winds decrease, that water comes back in and can be incredibly dangerous."

Florida's Division of Emergency Management echoed that message on Twitter, warning that the returning water could be life-threatening.

The massive Category 4 storm made landfall near Cayo Costa, roughly 90 miles south of Tampa, later Wednesday afternoon.

The low-lying Tampa Bay area is predicted to see a storm surge of four to six feet, with extreme beach erosion and water that may extend several miles inland, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm surge will be greater farther south along the coast, with some areas at risk of a surge of up to 18 feet. In addition, hurricane will dump up to five inches of rainfall per hour as it crosses the state while losing speed and prolonging the deluge, said Graham.

"This is going to be a storm that we talk about for many years to come," Graham said.

A man walks through the mudflats as the tide recedes from Tampa Bay as Hurricane Ian approaches Wednesday in Tampa, Florida.
A man walks through the mudflats as the tide recedes from Tampa Bay as Hurricane Ian approaches Wednesday in Tampa, Florida.  

A man walks through the mudflats as the tide recedes from Tampa Bay as Hurricane Ian approaches Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. Ian intensified to just shy of catastrophic Category 5 strength. (Photo: BRYAN R. SMITH via Getty Images)

Water from the storm, not its wind, creates the highest risk to human life, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell noted. She cautioned that flood dangers don't end with the storm's passing.

Only a few inches of rushing water can carry away a moving vehicle, Criswell said. She urged people to move to higher ground if water is rising around them, and cautioned against using a generator indoors due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Hurricane Ian is and will continue to be a very dangerous and life-threatening storm and this is going to be for the days ahead," Criswell said.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

Related...

  • Hurricane Ian Barrels Toward Florida, Threatening Damaging Floods And High Winds

  • Cuba Without Electricity After Hurricane Ian Hammers Power Grid

  • Hurricane Ian Strikes Cuba, Florida Braces For Category 4 Damage

  • Puerto Rico Still Reeling From Hurricane Fiona As Hurricane Ian Bears Down On Florida

  • Jan. 6 Panel Delays Hearing As Hurricane Ian Aims At Florida

COMMENTS

More Related News

At least 2 killed as tornadoes, wild storms continue to march across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana
At least 2 killed as tornadoes, wild storms continue to march across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

More than 40 million people remained at risk Wednesday from the vast storm system as forecasts call for more dangerous conditions, AccuWeather warned.

Severe weather sweeps across the US as National Weather Service issues warnings
Severe weather sweeps across the US as National Weather Service issues warnings

The National Weather Service issued tornado and thunderstorm warnings in the South and Central U.S. as severe weather swept across the country.

Tornadoes wrecking homes around south fueled by record highs
Tornadoes wrecking homes around south fueled by record highs
  • World
  • 2022-11-30 13:00:17Z

Tornadoes damaged numerous homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly trapped people in a grocery store and ripped the roof off an apartment complex in...

Cowboys waive Tarell Basham
Cowboys waive Tarell Basham

The Cowboys have opened a roster spot. Could they fill it with a certain wide receiver? Dallas has waived defensive end Tarell Basham, according to multiple reports. Basham appeared in just two games in 2022 - the season-opener against Tampa Bay and the Week 10 loss to Green Bay, playing limited snaps. Last season, Basham [more]

Long-track tornadoes may be in store for South; 125M in Midwest, Northeast in path of severe winds
Long-track tornadoes may be in store for South; 125M in Midwest, Northeast in path of severe winds

A front threatened to drive severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the south-central U.S. Long-track tornadoes could produce wind gusts of 165 mph

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America