Those Empty Bays

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This side-by-side from our CNN affiliate in Tampa shows the drained bay on the left with the filled bay on the right.

How did this happen?

Hurricanes spin counter-clockwise so while the storm surge brings unusually high water levels to inlets and bays the reverse is true with winds moving into the opposite direction. Those winds will pull water out of shallow areas and push it out to sea.

Often times, the water surges back into the inlets after receding so it’s extremely dangerous to venture into drained area. The water usually moves back into the bays in a matter of minutes.