BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panhandle was spared from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some local effects.
Some of the local bays are experiencing what is known as “reverse surge”.
“Because this storm was as far-reaching as it was, the eyewall was almost 35 miles wide at some point so the extent of that storm and the pull from that storm could have definitely brought some water from here all the way down there,” News 13 Meteorologist Grace Thornton said.
Over by the DuPont Bridge, the receded water has exposed plenty of seagrass.
“Seagrasses are really important,” Bay County Sea Grant Extention Director Scott Jackson said. “They support about 80% of what we like to eat as far as seafood or some of the game fish we like to go catch and so when those seagrasses are impacted and they dry out to an extreme standpoint or if we have a frost or freeze on top of that, that could affect some of the fish and some of the marine life that we treasure.”
Experts said the cold front and northerly winds are also pushing water away from the shore.
“So the way that our bay is oriented in St. Andrew Bay is an east-west bay and the pass just flows right to the south of us so when we get that north wind it really pushes the water out quite dramatically at times,” Jackson said.
“It also increases our rip current risks for the beaches so it’s not going to super effect anything especially because it’s not going to be going on for too much longer of a time; we’ll start to see things get back to normal but that ongoing northerly flow, as well as that pull from the storm to the south, is kind of what created that [reverse] surge,” Thornton said.
Hurricane season doesn’t end until November 30th so be sure to stay prepared.