A St. Petersburg woman filmed manatees swimming in her back yard as high tides and Tropical Storm Colin flooded over a seawall.
“I thought maybe I’d get lucky and see a manatee,” said Nancy Smith in an Instagram post that documented the event. “I couldn’t believe it. I saw two. Then one pulled itself up over the sea wall and started snacking away on our freshly mowed grass.”
High tides yesterday in the St. Pete and Tampa area were predicted to reach 2.75 feet, but swelled to more than four feet with the nearly new moon and Tropical Storm Colin pushing ashore.
Colin’s storm surge was creeping to more than three feet at Cedar Key on top of the strong astronomical high tide yesterday.
Smith said she has never seen a manatee pull itself up over a sea wall before and that no manatees were harmed in the filming of her video.
In 2004, a manatee got stuck in Hurricane Charley and washed up onto a street in Fort Myers Beach.
Residents, many shell-shocked after experiencing an unexpected Category 4 storm, rolled the manatee onto a piece of plywood and pulled it back to Estero Bay.
Charley was initially expected to track further north to Tampa, but tore up the Peace River just north of Fort Myers and leveled much of Punta Gorda. The storm packed winds as high as 150 mph.