Tropical Storm Bertha leaves behind dangerous rip currents

The second hurricane of the 2014 hurricane season was downgraded to a tropical storm early Tuesday morning and leaves behind an elevated risk of rip currents as it moves up the East Coast.

Rip currents are a strong channel of water that can pull swimmers away from the shore.

"A rip current is a current that goes back out to sea. Two waves are coming in on either side of a sandbar where there is a break in the sandbar the water piles up on the beach and then that water goes gradually out to sea," said Todd Blomdhal of Midway Fire Rescue.

Blomdhal said that though rip currents can happen anywhere, though there are certain areas that are more prone, like near jetties or piers.

Blomdhal advises swimmers to keep an eye on the flags at lifeguard stations at all times.

"Green generally means itâ??s fairly safe in the water with regard to rip currents and waves. Yellow, like it is today, is medium hazard and then red is an extreme hazard.

The rip current threat caused by Tropical Storm Bertha reached its peak early Tuesday, but the National Weather Service has a moderate risk warning for rip currents in place for Wednesday.