Tampa Bay #1 of most vulnerable/overdue hurricane cities - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay #1 of most vulnerable/overdue hurricane cities

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Every year we hear from the top weather agencies that an active hurricane season is expected.  This year is no different with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicting 13-20 named storms, including 3-5 major hurricanes.  Who can forget the rather active 2012 hurricane season, when Superstorm Sandy made history as one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history, that has the New Jersey and New York coastlines still digging out from major destruction.    
The Weather Channel reports that many cities and towns can go years without being impacted by a hurricane or tropical storm. Which they say can lead to a feeling of complacency that can be dangerous, or even deadly, when a hurricane hits. Any town or state that borders the coast, and even inland states as evidenced by Hurricane Irene in 2011, need to be aware of the possibility that a hurricane will hit their community any year.

For the third year, experts from weather.com and The Weather Channel have examined the statistics from all major cities on or near the coast. The Weather Channel's Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro and Hurricane Specialist Michael Lowry examined storm surge, evacuation time, population, and the number years it has been since each city was hit hard by a hurricane. With the data, they compiled a list of 10 cities that are the most vulnerable and overdue for major impact from a hurricane. They based their numbers ending at the 2012 hurricane season.

Number one on the list is the Tampa Bay area.  According to the Weather Channel, the last major hurricane to hit Tampa was in 1921 when the Tampa Bay Hurricane hit, causing millions in damage. Since then, Tampa Bay area's population has increased 1300 percent.
--- Population (2010) - 335,709  
--- Evacuation Time (if Cat. 5 hit) -  68 hours
--- Storm Surge Losses (per capita)  - $17,813
--- Years Overdue - 91

Hurricane Isaac gave a scare to the Tampa area in 2012 when the Republican National Convention was in town. However, the weather impacts were negligible according to meteorologists. 

The Tampa metropolitan area also includes the cities of St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Clearwater. Combined, those cities have a population of about 4,000,000. That's a lot of people are trying to get out the region when a hurricane is nearing its shores.


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