MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Look left, look right. Thousands of fish lay dead along the shore of Madeira Beach Monday. Instead of the sound of waves, the sound of people coughing and hacking can be heard.
What You Need To Know
Red tide is here.
“This is my happy place and I am really sad today," said Lauren Hill, Madeira Beach resident.
Hill has lived in the area for eight years, but could only spend a few minutes out on the sand because the red tide was bothering her so much.
“It’s just horrible," said Hill. "I can’t even hardly breathe, my throat is so itchy, I feel like I am coughing and my eyes are itchy, everything. It’s worse than allergies.”
The good news is it's only really bad in a few places, and not the entire coastline.
“I did hear from NOAA, our partners, and they said that the satellite imagery together with the currents do look like this is continuing to move north," said Kelli Hammer Levy, Public Works Director, Pinellas County. “We saw some higher concentrations at the end of the week from Indian Rocks Beach north, we saw high concentrations of red tide. We also saw some high concentrations inside the intercostal waterway in Treasure Island, and some areas in Boca Ciega Bay.”
Hammer Levy added that the red tide is patchjy compared to the big bloom back in 2018. But still, for anyone out in it, it is still uncomfortable.
“I was out there for one hour and I was really struggling, I was coughing. Today my throat is very sore. So I cannot recommend spending even a short amount of time in those conditions," said Levy.
For Hill, it can't end soon enough.
“I cannot wait for it to be gone, and I cannot wait to have my happy place back," said Hill.