Quote: According to the NHC, you all in St. Petersburg shouldn't be getting too much in the way of storm surge. In fact, the water may even be pushed out a bit due to the winds. Also, you may not be getting much more than strong tropical storm gusts, so I wouldn't evacuate if it were me and I live 5 miles from the beach as well here in Ft. Lauderdale.
But as always, do what you local officials tell you to do. Call you local county EOC office's rumor control hotline and ask them if you should evacuate.
You have to remember that St. Petersburg is a penninsula surrounded by water on 3 sides. I agree with you if you live close to the beach. However, winds coming out of the NE and eventually the East will pile the water in Tampa Bay on the west side which happens to be the lowest parts of Pinellas Cty (Shore Acres, Snell Isle). Thes areas flood very easily even with a strong thunderstorm. I have a good friend who lives in shore acres and she gets flooded all the time. IMO Anybody living in or near the Shore Acres, Snell Isle area should prepare for flooding. I would hope that nobody has any problems whatsoever with Wilma. My thoughts and prayers are with everybody that will get affected.
On another note...Pinellas Cty schools are on a wait and see basis. This I don't understand since the NWS is calling for sustained winds at 44-47mph with gusts to 60 and school buses can't drive in winds 35+. I would think that wouldn't take any chances but, they're the professionals right???
As I said before, according to the NHC it shouldn't be that bad for residents. I don't live there, and I don't know how the conditions can get with certain types of storms. Therefore, always listen to your local officials when making decisions. I can't seem to stress that enough. If your local EOC tells you to leave for this storm. leave for it. It's really that simple.
Taking the advice of professionals with some years of experience is usually preferred over speculation or sometimes educated guesses on a forum.
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