Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay flooding is proof of Ike's destructive power

A Hummer exits on to Davis Islands on Thursday from a flooded Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Hurricane Ike, in the Gulf of Mexico west of the bay area, kicked up strong winds and high tide that caused water from Tampa Bay to flood the roadway.

SKIP O\u2019ROURKE | Times

A Hummer exits on to Davis Islands on Thursday from a flooded Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Hurricane Ike, in the Gulf of Mexico west of the bay area, kicked up strong winds and high tide that caused water from Tampa Bay to flood the roadway.

They were warned about Fay. Then Gustav. But few residents of coastal areas around Tampa Bay were expecting distant Hurricane Ike to flood their neighborhoods.

For the second day in a row Thursday, Tampa Bay tides were as much as 4 feet higher than normal as Hurricane Ike plowed toward Texas.

The rising water was not caused by rain or storm surge, but by heavy winds extending 275 miles from the center of Hurricane Ike, said Mike Clay, chief meteorologist for Bay News 9.

The winds created more than 30-foot swells in the bathtub that is the Gulf of Mexico.

As Ike barrels toward Texas, flooding will likely diminish around Tampa Bay today, with high tides only about two feet higher than normal, Clay said. He hopes residents note the flooding and consider what a direct hit by a hurricane could do.

"Look what's happened with a Category 2 hurricane 400 miles away from us," Clay said. "Imagine what would happen if it were 100 miles away or 50 miles away."

But at Ballast Point Park in Tampa, George Illes wasn't worried about his restaurant, Taste of Boston — he's never even bought flood insurance. "I guess if something does happen, it'll be out of my own pocket," he said.

St. Petersburg police closed some streets in Shore Acres on Thursday after residents complained that people were driving too fast through flooded streets, pushing saltwater closer to their homes. They reopened them in the afternoon.

"This is the highest it's been," said Mike Spinale, 29, who owns a home in Shore Acres. But he said he wasn't any more worried about storms because of this week's flooding. "If we had a direct hit, depending on the conditions, all of Tampa Bay needs to be concerned, not just the coastal areas."

Hurricane Ike will continue to affect the Tampa Bay area's weather in the coming days.

Dry air trailing Ike will make for a hot weekend before the usual scattered rainstorms return next week, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker.

Today, high tide is expected at 1 p.m. In New Port Richey, Thursday's high tide crested the seawall along the Pithlachascotee River, flooding streets.

"We don't live on the river, we live in the river," Harold Windlan said.

Times staff writers Kim Wilmath and Brendan Fitterer contributed to this report. Stephanie Garry can be reached at (727) 892-2374 or [email protected]

Tampa Bay flooding is proof of Ike's destructive power 09/11/08 [Last modified: Friday, September 12, 2008 1:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  3. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  4. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended

    Nation

    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  5. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.