Changing winds could bring slight relief to red tide in SWFL

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Aug. 3, 2018.

Thousands of dead fish washing up each day on Sanibel and city officials just said there was a significant increase in the amount of dead sea life coming on to the beach overnight.

People living near the beaches tell us they hope to finally get relief soon.

Kathleen Cameron lives and works on Fort Myers Beach. She says this is the worst red tide she’s ever experienced, “I’m like about halfway down from the Gulf on my street, as soon as you walk out the door, you take a breath and it’s there.”

Empty sidewalks, abandoned restaurants, and Time Square is a ghost town.”I mean usually down here on the beach in Fort Myers there’s a lot of people, but you just don’t see any here.”

The people who are seen walking the beach are dodging dead fish.

An aquatic ecologist tells WINK News the wind has not only brought the red tide to Fort Myers Beach but is also what makes the toxins airborne.

MORENational Weather Service extends beach hazard through Monday

WINK News Meteorologist Matt Devitt says this weekend’s winds could actually help the stinky situation on Fort Myers Beach, “This weekend the wind is going to be from the southeast, from the land, so that is going to be pushing some of the moderate high concentrations offshore, but I still do expect a good amount to hang around the coast.”

Devitt says a faster wind speed is what’s really needed to help clear things up, “Because it’s only 5-10 and occasionally hitting 15, the rate at which it’s going to do it is still going to be kind of slow.”

And any relief is good news for businesses too, “Anything to help. anything to bring more people down to help with the smell and stuff like that…anything,” said Reid Freeman, SOB Bar Executive Chef.

Experts say it’s just going to take more southeast winds and stronger gusts to blow this red tide out of here.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.