TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Photos and videos showed water flowing through streets in Tampa Bay as the area felt the effects of Hurricane Idalia on Wednesday.
Water from the Hillsborough River was overflowing onto the Tampa Riverwalk, south of Kennedy Boulevard.
The National Hurricane Center said Idalia—which made landfall as a Category 3 storm in Florida’s Big Bend region on Wednesday— was expected to bring “life-threatening storm surge” to parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast, including Tampa Bay, and could dump 3 to 5 inches of rain on parts of the area.
Storm Team 8’s Chief Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli predicted Pinellas County would see storm surge levels of about 4 to 6 feet above the ground. He said parts of Pasco County could see up to 8 feet. And from Crystal River all the way up to Cedar Key, levels could reach up to 10 feet.
Authorities temporarily closed access to the Pinellas County barrier islands due to significant flooding in areas like St. Pete Beach, Madeira Beach and Treasure Island.
Police in Treasure Island reported flooding along Gulf Boulevard, and said water had started coming over the sea wall in some areas along the Intracoastal.
Streets in St. Pete Beach were also left under water, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, which shared video of flooding on Pass-A-Grille Way. On Wednesday morning, the agency said it was anticipating additional flooding with the high tides in the afternoon.
The City of Venice also reported flooding on Tarpon Center Drive, Golden Beach Boulevard, Villa Drive and Flamingo Drive.
Water was also coming over the sea wall along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Video from Wednesday afternoon shows people tubing down the street.
Emergency officials were telling residents to keep off the roads and stay hunkered down until storm conditions subside.