Andrea leaves Bayshore Blvd. under water

Waves crashed over balustrade

TAMPA - Tropical Storm Andrea left her mark on Tampa in the form of flooding in one of the city's most picturesque streets, and closing roads into the prestigious neighborhood nearby.

Bayshore Boulevard was shut down from Bay to Bay to Platt Street, after water came crashing over the balustrade in dramatic fashion Thursday afternoon.  The high winds and high tide helped propel the water into the street, attracting both concerned residents and gawkers hoping to get a glimpse of hurricane-like conditions.

"I'm glad my house is four up from this road," said Kristina McGonnigal, who was standing a half block away from Bayshore Boulevard with her daughter, as the gusty winds were blowing both of them around as they took photographs.

"The rain stopped, but the winds didn't," McGonnigal said.  "People think once the rain is over, everything is fine.  But I don't think so," she said.

Several people with inflatable rafts tried taking advantage of the water and winds, but found themselves being blown back toward the sidewalk.

A bicyclist decided to risk riding along the balustrade as waves came crashing over, and narrowly avoided getting hit and likely thrown from his bike.  Eventually, the sidewalk along the seawall would become submerged.

Water continued rising from Bayshore well after high tide, peaking at 5 p.m., and gradually subsiding as the winds died down and low tide pulled the water back.

Still, Bayshore Boulevard remained under water, while nearby sidewalks were covered in seaweed, debris, and the occasional dead fish.

"It sometimes floods, but usually it doesn't get this deep in the neighborhoods," said Cole Kemton, who came to Bayshore with his father Ted to see the flooding.

These storms always bring up the thought that someday Tampa might be in for something worse, Ted Kemton said.  Both are glad they live on the Palma Ceia ridge, which gives them some protection from rising water.

"16 feet," Kemton said.  "But that's not going to do us much good when the big one comes up the mouth of the bay," he said.

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