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Water Empties From Bay In Tampa, But Folks Warned: Stay Out

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Irma has pushed water out of a bay in Tampa, but forecasters are telling people not to venture out there, because it’s going to return with a potentially deadly vengeance.

On Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, about 100 people were walking Sunday afternoon on what was Old Tampa Bay — a body of water near downtown. Hurricane Irma’s winds and low tide have pushed the water unusually far from its normal position. Some people are venturing as far as 200 yards (180 meters) out to get to the water’s new edge. The water is normally about 4 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters) deep and reaches a seawall.

The U.S. Hurricane Center has sent out an urgent alert warning of a “life-threatening storm surge inundation of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) above ground level” and telling people to “MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”

The waters retracted because the leading wind bands of Irma whipped the coastal water more out to sea. But once the eye passes and the wind reverses, the water will rush back in.

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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