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Rip current warning issued in Clearwater Beach after Hurricane Michael

Posted: 4:43 PM, Oct 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-11 17:56:08-04
Rip current warning issued, Clearwater Beach
Rip current warning issued, Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — Despite some erosion and rough surf causing a risk of rip currents, visitors packed Clearwater Beach one day after Hurricane Michael. 

Lifeguards raised the yellow flag Thursday due to potentially dangerous rip currents. It signals people should use caution if they enter the water. 

"We're having a lot of debris wash up," said Clearwater Beach's water safety supervisor, Patrick Brafford. "You can also see how much rainfall we had. The sand up here on the beach is really saturated right now."

Brafford is also warning beachgoers to be careful of debris under the surface. 

"Broken pilings, broken dock pieces," said Brafford. "Anything like that might have become damaged in the storm now ends up in the Gulf and poses a great threat to our swimmers."

Clearwater Beach, which is often ranked a top destination in the country, received dozens of visitors one day after Hurricane Michael. 

The storm did push a red tide bloom closer to the shore, causing a slight respiratory irritation. 

"I started to cough a little bit," said Jimmy Rodgers, who is visiting from Providence. "You do detect it but it's nothing that would stop me from walking up and down the beach."