Boats sit in sand after hurricane causes water levels to drop

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- Northerly winds from Tropical Storm Irma pushed bay waters out to sea.

The waters at Treasure Island Marina in Panama City Beach, Florida experienced this rare natural phenomenon, as well as other waters all around Florida. One local has never seen anything like it.

"I had seen on Facebook that the waters had receded a little bit. I don't ever recall seeing that grassy area. That's something new for me. It looks like it's about four or five feet low, I'm speculating of course," said William Clinton, who lives in the earea.

The boats at the marina were sitting on sand and you could see the barnacles showing on the pilings because of the low water level. There were a lot of people who stopped at the marina to take photos of the island.

The phenomenon can be explained as such: when wind pushes water onto land, we get storm surge. What has happened in northwest Florida is wind pushing water away from the shore.

So how does it happen? The north winds pulled all of the water away from the coastline and into the Gulf. In a way, it's as if Mother Nature is playing a game of tug of war with the water. As the storm pushes further north, a westerly wind will push the water back.

A few hours away, visitors and people living in Franklin County, Florida, were puzzled and fascinated by the "reverse storm surge."

Dozens of people parked off the side of the road for photos. Some were brave enough to walk out on the mucky flats previously covered by water and fit for swimming.