Anna Maria Island beaches felt the effects of Hurricane Ike this week with several days of high surf and high water.
Every day this past week brought a good swell and copious waves as Ike passed 300 miles away to the south west of Anna Maria Island.
The storm emerged off the coast of Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico with Tropical Storm strength winds and soon intensified into a Category 2-3 hurricane heading northwest.
Florida Suncoast relaxed as the threat of Ike retreated and Louisiana and Texas went on high alert.
The coast was not totally unaffected however. High tides of 2.4 feet combined with an elevated 2 foot storm surge raised sea levels to the point of flooding local streets as water crested seawalls and backflowed up storm water drains.
Owners of low-lying houses raced to fill sandbags and seal off entrances. The worst came at night on Tuesday as water piled up ahead of the morning high tide, however, the following days saw little respite from low tides and water stayed pooled on the streets, especially around the Anna Maria Island Branch Library and Holmes Beach City Hall. By Thursday morning the surge was decreasing but the water levels were slow to recede.
High tide is at 10:20 and low tide at 17:40.