Report: Tampa Storm Surge Could Damage Up To 455,000 Homes

Residents near Tampa Bay fear what the storm will do to an area that hasn’t taken a direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921.

From punishing winds to catastrophic storm surge, the area is bracing for devastation. Vulnerable structures range from the towering Sunshine Skyway Bridge to toxic waste sites from the state’s phosphorous mining industry.

“We’re going to be inundated with unprecedented amounts of water,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Sunday. “It’s going to stress our storm water and sewer capacity. There’s going to be overflows. There’s no two ways around it.”

The four-county area, with approximately 3 million residents, encompasses two of Florida’s largest cities: Tampa and St. Petersburg. The area is known for its sugar-sand beaches, the Busch Gardens theme park and the Salvador Dali Museum.

Among the chief concerns in Tampa is storm surge. 

A recent report said nearly 455,000 Tampa Bay homes could be damaged by hurricane storm surges, the most in any major metro area except Miami and New York City. 

And rebuilding all those homes could cost $80.6 billion, the report said.

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