Hurricane Irma drains Tampa Bay area waterways

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Hurricane Irma’s winds are draining the water from Tampa Bay area waterways, creating an eerie pre-storm scene along Bayshore Boulevard and other popular destinations.

FOX 13 chief meteorologist Paul Dellegatto explained that strong east winds from the storm – still 200 miles south-southeast of Tampa as of noon – were pushing water south out of the bays and bayous.

Tampa residents were sharing photos of the muddy bottom of Hillsborough Bay from Bayshore.  Tourists on stormy Anna Maria Island were greeted with dry land almost all the way out to the end of the pier.

The water will rush back in as Irma passes, Paul added.

Live view from FOX 13's Brookdale Bayshore camera: