Hurricane Irma caused massive flooding as it ripped its way through Florida and the Caribbean last week, but not for everyone. Tampa Bay residents experienced a bizarre phenomenon that some believe can be compared to what happened in the Bible.
Instead of pummeling Tampa Bay with massive waves, Hurricane Irma's powerful winds sucked the water away from the shoreline.
"Huge parcels of the Bay became dry enough to walk on," Tampa Bay resident Aly Yohn told CBN News.
"People were stunned! Manatees got beached because the water receded so fast, and people had to walk out into the bay, put them onto tarps and pull them further out to water," she said.
Many people decided to take pictures and walk on the dry land that was once submerged by the waters of Tampa Bay.
Weather scientists call the eerie event a "reverse storm surge" or a "bulge."
"In the center of the storm, where the pressure is lowest and the winds are converging, water piles up. Low pressure is basically a sucking mechanism in the sense that it draws the air inward. When the pressure is exceptionally low and the winds are very strong, it can create a bulge of ocean water under the center of the storm," writes Angela Fritz, an atmospheric scientist and deputy weather editor at the Washington Post.
The unexpected phenomenon is causing some to suggest that God could have used a similar method to part the Red Sea and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
According to Exodus 14:21-22: "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, so that the waters were divided. The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."
Yohn isn't sure what to call the phenomenon, but she believes it is evidence of the hand of God.
"Much like Moses leading the people of Israel out of Egypt and across a dried up Red Sea, the water in Tampa Bay receded and the land dried up," Yohn says.
"You can call this what you want: a fluke, a surprise, a miracle or whatever. What we believe is that God used the natural forces of this storm, to force the water completely out," Yohn concluded.