As Ian approaches Florida, officials at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tampa are concerned that residents are not prepared for what could affect the Tampa Bay area.
“The last major hurricane that really had a direct impact was 100 years ago,” NWS meteorologist Rick Davis told CNN . “So there are a lot of people who have dealt with hurricanes in the last five or 10 years in Florida and they might have the perception of going through a strong storm.”
But it won’t be a direct hit for Tampa to suffer catastrophic flood damage. Tampa Bay is extremely vulnerable to storm surges because incoming water has nowhere to go, “so it keeps piling up in downtown Tampa,” according to Davis.
“Even in small storms, we can have coastal flooding in the Tampa Bay area, Bayshore Boulevard, and these were pretty mild storms,” Davis said. “So we can expect that with a stronger storm predicted to be much closer and moving more slowly, it will continue to collect water in areas along the bay in Tampa and in St. Pete”.
The National Hurricane Center is currently forecasting 1.5 to 2.5 meters of storm surge for the region.
“But actually, the Bay Area was lost more often. That’s why we tell people, even if they’re Florida residents like me, this is something we’ve never seen in our lives, so we definitely have to take it seriously,” Davis said.
Source: CNN Brasil