Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard reopens after city completes storm cleanup

TAMPA

Bayshore Boulevard reopened Wednesday. Tampa made sure of that.

Working well through the night Tuesday, crews from the city's Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments cleared the road of mud, seaweed, debris and driftwood left in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby, which had flooded the busy road for days.

Most didn't lay down their hoses until 2:30 a.m.

They were back at it by 9 Wednesday morning.

"It seemed very important to the mayor that we get this done as soon as possible," Parks and Recreation director Greg Bayor said. "Normally, we wouldn't have our crews out here working overnight, but this road's been down long enough."

The road, which had been barricaded from Platt Street to Gandy Boulevard since Sunday, was cleared and safe for cars by 3 p.m., hours ahead of schedule.

"Why the sense of urgency?" Public Works director Irv Lee said. "In addition to this being a public safety issue and affecting transportation, it's all organic material. In a couple days, the smell would've been pretty onerous."

Unlike typical summer storms, Debby churned up the bay and sent water crashing over the seawall, resulting in a "yummy soup of muck" that settled on the sidewalk and street when the water receded, Lee said.

Workers will tend to the road for the next couple of days, cleaning, clearing and replanting toppled palm trees.

Nine of the 42 wild date palms planted along Bayshore Boulevard for the Republican National Convention were ripped up by the storm. The combination of strong winds and soggy soil sent the trees tumbling, workers said.

Morelli Landscaping, the company hired to install the trees for the convention, dispatched five trucks and more than a dozen workers to care for the plants.

Each tree, which cost the city $2,200 apiece, would be washed out with freshwater and treated with fungicide, said owner Joe Morelli. He expects the plants to make a full recovery.

"Nature's a wonderful thing; it'll do everything it can to survive," he said. "They're in remarkably good shape."

If the trees begin to show signs of damage — browning fronds or a weak core — Morelli said they have more on standby, ready to be planted.

Although Debby's prolonged assault on the Tampa Bay area was anything but convenient, Morelli said he's glad the storm happened when it did.

"It could have been a whole lot worse than it was," he said, noting grass, shrubs and other greenery was spared damage because they have not yet been installed.

Morelli's crews weren't the only ones replanting Wednesday morning. Residents along the scenic road stood out in their yards, collecting branches, palm fronds, seaweed and other debris that spilled onto their properties during the storm.

"It's more like Bay-bottom Boulevard today," mused Joan King, 59, as she loaded severed branches into a wheelbarrow.

Pedestrians had been free to use the road, and several joggers were back to running along the bay Wednesday morning.

Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

Comments
Forecast: Abundant sunshine, low humidity make for ideal weekend in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Abundant sunshine, low humidity make for ideal weekend in Tampa Bay

Folks around Tampa Bay won’t have many excuses to stay indoors this weekend. It’s going to be a bright weekend with sparse cloud cover, reasonably comfortable temperatures and plenty of sunshine, according to the National Weather Service...
Published: 04/26/18
Forecast: Clear skies, pleasant conditions take hold over Tampa Bay

Forecast: Clear skies, pleasant conditions take hold over Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Now that a cold front — which spawned a weak tornado in Ruskin — has departed, it leaves behind pleasant conditions across Tampa Bay.Relatively cool temperatures, clearing skies and low humidity will take hold until Friday, according...
Published: 04/25/18
‘Freak gust’ gives Ruskin park residents a fright

‘Freak gust’ gives Ruskin park residents a fright

TAMPA — For a few moments late Monday night, Jeff Hinton’s new home in Ruskin’s Paradise Mobile Home and RV Park felt less like paradise and more like his native Iowa’s "Tornado Alley."In an instant, the rain that had come in waves through the day hi...
Published: 04/24/18
Forecast: After tornado causes damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

Forecast: After tornado causes damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Forecasters said rain could fall on Monday before conditions cleared, leaving drier air and less humidity behind.That rain moved through Ruskin with a vengeance Monday night, causing a tornado to touch down and producing a treacherou...
Published: 04/24/18
Scattered showers, thunderstorms kick off muggy week across Tampa Bay

Scattered showers, thunderstorms kick off muggy week across Tampa Bay

A large, disturbed weather system could drop thunderstorms and scattered showers across Tampa Bay. This is the same system that has caused water spouts and tornadoes to touch down around the Fort Walton Beach area in the Florida panhandle.This storm...
Published: 04/23/18
Forecast: Scattered showers could dampen weekend plans across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Scattered showers could dampen weekend plans across Tampa Bay

Scattered showers and thunderstorms could pester Tampa Bay throughout the weekend, culminating in a peak chance of rain early next week.A small cold front will meander over the bay area by Friday afternoon but should have little affect on the area, t...
Published: 04/20/18
Forecast: Clear skies for Tampa Bay lead to a hot, humid and rainy weekend

Forecast: Clear skies for Tampa Bay lead to a hot, humid and rainy weekend

Expect warm weather, clear skies and a slight increase in humidity across Tampa Bay in the next few days, before an incoming cold front raises the chance for rain.Temperatures this morning are in the low 60s with a little bit of damp air. The dry air...
Published: 04/19/18
Forecast: Warm weather continues for Tampa Bay, but humidity and clouds are returning

Forecast: Warm weather continues for Tampa Bay, but humidity and clouds are returning

The temporary cool weather has come to an end as temperatures rise back up to the lower 80s by Wednesday afternoon. Morning commuters can expect temperatures in the upper 50s throughout most of Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service. Bu...
Published: 04/18/18
Dreaded ‘cone of uncertainty’ will shrink for the coming hurricane season

Dreaded ‘cone of uncertainty’ will shrink for the coming hurricane season

The National Hurricane Center plans to shrink the dreaded "cone of uncertainty" during the upcoming season based on an improving forecast record.The Miami-based center made the announcement Monday, along with a series of other changes intended to imp...
Published: 04/17/18
Forecast: Clear skies, abundant sunshine ahead for Tampa Bay

Forecast: Clear skies, abundant sunshine ahead for Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay will be warming up today and by the afternoon clear skies and sunshine promise ideal conditions without an abundance of humidity.But Tuesday morning started a little chilly with temperatures in upper 50s before sunrise. By afternoon, temper...
Published: 04/17/18