Gator and fish in Florida streets, manatees stuck on land as Irma hits

WLFA photo of a stranded manatee.
One of the manatees that was rescued. WFLA photo CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

SARASOTA, Florida (WNCN/CBS News) — Wild animals, including alligators, fish and manatees, were disrupted by Hurricane Irma in Florida on Sunday.

As the storm hit the west coast of the state, manatees were left high and dry when the storm’s punishing winds from the east pushed water out of areas along the coast.

Also, at least one alligator was seen out his normal habitat — strolling down a main street of a coastal town.

And on the island, where Irma made its second landfall of the day — dumping heavy rains and bringing a storm surge ashore — a catfish was seen swimming down a street.

MORE COVERAGE: Irma stories, video and more in Hurricane Central

Low water in Sarasota Bay on Sunday afternoon left several manatees stuck in knee-deep mud, CBS affiliate WTSP in Tampa reports.

A few residents in the area came to the rescue, placing them on a large green tarp and pulling them more than 100 yards back into the water.

CBS News photo of a manatee being rescued.

After becoming restless, Marcelo Clavijo checked out the bay near Whitfield where he noticed the manatees on the flats.

“So we went for a ride and ended up saving two manatees,” Clavijo posted on Facebook.

Also on Sunday, an alligator was spotted walking around the streets of downtown Melbourne on Florida’s East Coast.

Florida Today reported the gator walked onto Strawbridge Avenue near the “Historic Downtown Melbourne” arch.

The alligator then walked near a bus stop and quickly scooted into a grassy area, the video shows.

The Melbourne gator. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

A WFLA meteorologist explained why water receded.

“With Hurricane Irma to our south, the counter clockwise wind flow around that storm is creating a very strong wind from the east. That is an offshore wind that is pushing water back into the Gulf of Mexico,” said meteorologist Leigh Spann in Tampa on Florida’s west coast.

Earlier on Sunday, just after Irma dumped several inches of rain on Marco Island, a catfish was spotted swimming along a street. A resident of the island captured video of the strange occurrence (see below).

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