Hurricane Irma exposes seabed near Tampa, residents venture out

World Today

Hurricane Irma Miami The winds and sea are whipped up off of the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami as Hurricane Irma approaches on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. ( Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

After hitting Miami, Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Tampa. The city reportedly hasn’t seen a storm this powerful in nearly 100 years, and residents are taking in some expected sights before the system rolls in. CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

As the outer bands of the hurricane began making their way up Florida’s west coast, curiosity got the better of many Tampa residents.

Against the warnings, demands, and pleas of police, many residents wandered out onto mudflats. As Irma blew water from the bay out into the gulf, it left the seabed exposed.

“There were literally dozens out there,” according to Tampa resident Ed Brennan. “We saw one guy out there on a bike. A bicycle… that is very unusual.”

Police are concerned about the people who are venturing out in the mudflats and other areas. They warn it is incredibly irresponsible, especially as the hurricane’s eye moves closer to the city.

When the full wrath of the storm arrives, it will push the water back into the bay, over the sea wall, and into the iconic homes on Bayshore Bouldevard.

It is not a question of if Irma will hammer the city, but rather when. Street downtown are deserted, sandbags protect buildings, and boarded-up windows are everywhere.

For the Brennan’s, they were grateful for once last chance to blow off nervous energy before Irma blows in.

“I cleaned the house yesterday, I was vacuuming,” Lois Brennan said. “I am not sure what I am going to do when I get back.

Her husband Ed says he’s more concerned about the winds than the waters.

“The whole downtown will be flooded before we are flooded. We are not worried out about that. We are worried about the winds. Our house was built in 1927.”

Police say the good news is the overwhelming majority of people are taking Irma seriously. Many evacuated, and are now wondering what kind of city they will return to.