Monday, September 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Ripped roofing, crashing waves: How Irma rocked St. Pete Beach hotels

ST. PETE BEACH — Keith Overton watched as Hurricane Irma ripped the Howard Johnson's roof from the building around 9 p.m. Sunday.

"It blew it all the way to the beach," Overton said. "At that point, we said it's time to go in for the night."

Waters retreated in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday night, exposing buoys that Overton said are normally about 75 yards back from the shoreline.

"It was about the size of a football field that you could walk on," Overton said.

By Monday morning, waves were crashing along the shore, which was noticeably free of much debris.

As the president of TradeWinds, which owns 35 acres along St. Pete Beach, Overton oversaw a crew of 52 people who stayed on site Sunday while Irma ragged around them.

When most of the rain cleared Monday morning, Overton and others ventured outside to see what Irma had left for them. Trade Winds held power all night and seemed to dodge any major damage.

The wind still whipped fiercely, thrashing palm trees that stubbornly held their ground. Wind tunnels formed between buildings, forcing people to hold on to the fence to pull themselves through.

Up and down Gulf Boulevard, most signs and buildings remained intact. Windows held strong. Trees stood tall. Detour signs from construction near Corey Avenue were busted open, but construction barriers remained in place.

The Waffle House sign appeared to be one of the hardest hit, losing its "s" and "e" to proclaim WAFFLE HOU.

When Irma's last bands pass, Overton is prepared to host 700 Duke Energy workers at the TradeWinds. They'll stay the rest of the week while restoring power to Pinellas County.

Overton, meanwhile, is focused on getting the property back up and running.

"Cleanup is mostly what's going to happen today," he said. "Tomorrow, we should be open."

COMPLETE COVERAGE:Find all our coverage about Hurricane Irma here

Contact Caitlin Johnston at [email protected] Follow @cljohnst

Comments
No relief from the heat with record highs possible for Tampa Bay

No relief from the heat with record highs possible for Tampa Bay

Folks around Tampa Bay should not expect any relief from this week's unseasonably warm temperatures as sparse cloud cover will provide little shade from the overbearing sunshine that will rocket temperatures into the 90s by lunchtime.To make matters ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fall may have arrived, but Tampa Bay area will still feel the heat

Fall may have arrived, but Tampa Bay area will still feel the heat

Falling leaves, cool winds and pumpkin spice characterize the autumn season, which began Saturday. But the Tampa Bay area won't be seeing any differences in our recent hot streak until mid-October, and even then it could be short-lived.Temperatures t...
Published: 09/24/18
Severe flooding from Hurricane Florence feared near South Carolina coast

Severe flooding from Hurricane Florence feared near South Carolina coast

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Rivers swelling with the floodwaters of former Hurricane Florence are threatening to swamp communities near the South Carolina coast, leaving thousands ready to evacuate.More than a week after Florence crashed into the Carol...
Published: 09/24/18
Weather: Expect a sunny Sunday, with clear evening ahead

Weather: Expect a sunny Sunday, with clear evening ahead

It may be the first weekend of fall, but it’ll still feel like the dog days of summer in Tampa Bay. The forecast predicts a sunny Sunday, with a high near 95 degrees and a low of 74. There is a 60 percent chance of rain.Tonight, expect a mostly clear...
Published: 09/23/18
After record-setting day in Tampa, last day of summer brings more stifling heat

After record-setting day in Tampa, last day of summer brings more stifling heat

Weather in Tampa on Thursday took one step above the previous record high, then another for good measure.The high temperature in Tampa reached 96 degrees Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. That beat the old record of 94 by two degre...
Published: 09/21/18
Heat of the moment: Tampa sets record high today with 95 degrees

Heat of the moment: Tampa sets record high today with 95 degrees

TAMPA — Congratulations, Tampanians (and a couple of you Tampans, too) because you all set a record on Thursday.The city had a record high of 95 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.That exceeded the old high of 94 degrees by just one d...
Published: 09/20/18
Afternoon thunderstorms to provide break from heat across Tampa Bay

Afternoon thunderstorms to provide break from heat across Tampa Bay

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to drench Tampa Bay by Thursday afternoon, bringing a slight reprieve from temperatures that will feel like they're near 100. Hot afternoons will remain intact throughout the weekend with late-day show...
Published: 09/20/18
'You gotta take care of home': Michael Jordan donates $2 million to Florence recovery efforts

'You gotta take care of home': Michael Jordan donates $2 million to Florence recovery efforts

As Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolinas late last week, bringing with it torrential rain and flooding, the news was grim: Towns were transformed into islands cut off by floodwaters, the number of storm-related deaths increased daily and hund...
Published: 09/19/18
As Florence dissipates, what happened to the other tropical storms in the Atlantic?

As Florence dissipates, what happened to the other tropical storms in the Atlantic?

On Sept. 10, three storms and two tropical disturbances seemed to pose a threat to the Eastern United States from the Atlantic. A graphic from National Hurricane Center showed Hurricane Florence approaching Bermuda with a trajectory aimed roughly at ...
Published: 09/19/18
Last week of summer continues typical forecast of hot, humid weather across Tampa Bay

Last week of summer continues typical forecast of hot, humid weather across Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay trudges through a week of hot and humid weather with more afternoon showers, and Wednesday's forecast indicates much of the same. While Tampa Bay appears to have a wet weekend ahead, a change in air flow will push back the timing of the sto...
Published: 09/19/18