The day before monster Hurricane Ian hit Florida's Fort Meyers area, Tampa Bay emptied causing the eeriest sight many had ever seen. Hurricane Ian literally exposed sand and silt on the bottom of Tampa Bay.

The powerful force of Hurricane Ian drove water out of Tampa Bay the day prior to landfall. The last time the phenomenon happened was in 2017 for Hurricane Irma.

Because hurricane winds blow counterclockwise, the winds at the northern edge of Ian’s circular system were blowing from east to west with such force that they pushed bay water into the Gulf of Mexico. -Associate Press

Authorities asked residents to stay off the drained bay bottom, but people were so amazed they did anyway.

When a hurricane takes water out of Tampa Bay at this magnitude, experts suggest this generally means a storm surge of nearly 20 feet from the impending storm.

Water eventually refilled the bay as category 4 Hurricane Ian destroyed the Fort Meyers area and beyond. Meteorologists called Hurricane Ian, "Florida's Katrina".

Cayo Costa, a barrier island west of Fort Meyers recorded sustained wind speeds of 150 mph on Wednesday. That put Hurricane Ian just shy of a category 5 storm.

More than 1.5 million people are currently without power according to

Now a tropical storm, slow-moving Ian is still delivering large amounts of rain and is headed for the Carolinas and will eventually end in West Virginia.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

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