"Regional studies have quantified the potential impacts of a tropical storm or hurricane making landfall in the region and have highlighted the major concerns for evacuation, shelter and recovery operations. These facts are summarize below:
2) Due to the bathymetry and the configuration of the Bay, the storm surge heights for the Tampa Bay region are significantly higher than the national average (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale). Surge heights within Tampa Bay can exceed 25-30 feet in a major hurricane strike. (Isadore warnings as a Cat 2 were 8 - 10 feet surges above mean high tide levels)
5) Most of the residents in Tampa Bay live in hurricane vulnerable areas. Based upon the 1992 Evacuation Study Update, the numbers of persons which would evacuate in the following storm scenarios are:
6) For a major hurricane threat, the shelter demand in the region is estimated between 275,000 - 290,000 persons. The region has the capacity to shelter 218,000 (category 3) and 190,000 (category 5) - a deficit of 57,000 - 98,000 spaces!
7) The clearance times for the Tampa Bay region range from 8 - 17 hours* depending upon the county and strength/track of the storm threat. For major hurricanes, the clearance times
exceed the 12 hours the National Hurricane Center seeks to provide "confident" lead time.
8) If the three counties to the south of Tampa Bay also evacuate, clearance times will increase from minimum of 7.8 hours (category 1) to a maximum of 42.6 hours (category 5).
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