Downtown Tampa ‘ghost town’ before Hurricane Irma

“There’s nothing else we can do but pray”

Downtown Tampa, WFLA

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Downtown Tampa is a virtual ghost town with few people and few cars on the roads early Sunday morning.

Along Kennedy Boulevard, businesses are boarded up and sandbags are in place—both indications that Hurricane Irma is right around the corner.

“Tampa hasn’t seen a hurricane since, I mean a hundred years since Tampa has seen a hurricane. This is pretty scary,” said Apollo Beach resident Erin Houston.

Houston and friend Lori Watkins are staying at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Tampa to ride out the storm.

“It is close to the water,” Watkins said about her house.  “So, we put mattresses in front of the windows.  We did everything we could to secure all the electronics.”

They’re unsure what they’ll go home to.

Many people staying at hotels in Tampa and on Harbor Island are in the same boat.

“There’s nothing else we can do but pray,” Watkins said.