Florida And Bahamas Beaches Sucked Dry By Hurricane Irma

Images of Hurricane Irma's aftermath show that the winds were strong enough to temporarily suck away the ocean, draining beaches in Florida and the Bahamas.

Street covered in sand lined with windblown palm trees

People in Florida and the Bahamas have been posting alarming images of beaches turned to wasteland on Twitter, a phenomenon caused by the powerful winds of Hurricane Irma.

"Hurricane Irma's winds are so strong, it’s pulling water away from the shoreline,” explained Deputy Weather Editor Angela Fritz of The Washington Post.

A weather forecaster for the Bahamas Department of Meteorology, Wayne Neely, broke down what causes the eerie natural phenomenon on Facebook.

"A hurricane is a low-pressure area and at the center of the hurricane, you have a buildup or the piling up (a bulging effect) of water called the storm surge. At the center of the hurricane (in this case-Hurricane Irma), the water builds up at 10 to 15 feet above the normal high tide. That water must come from somewhere else and for this case, it came from the outskirts or the outer boundaries of Hurricane Irma."

HuffPost reported that Neely warned people to be extremely cautious about wandering the now exposed ocean floor, as the drainage is only temporary and the water can surge back with incredible force. Twitter users have already reported the water returning in some areas, proving Mother Nature will have a much quicker recovery than many of the communities ravaged by Irma.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters photographer Bryan Woolston

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