Tampa’s 90-year run of luck - FOX 13 News

Tampa’s 90-year run of luck

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Tampa is the most vulnerable and overdue for a hurricane hit of U.S. cities, according to weather.com.

The rankings take into account factors like population, storm surge and the amount of time from the last big hit. 

Tampa's last one was back in 1921.

"You think about the population around Tampa Bay that lives around the water; it's just common sense if we get hit by a major hurricane. We're overdue; it's going to be a catastrophe," said FOX 13 Chief Meteorologist Paul Delagatto.

Hurricane Isaac gave the Bay area a brief scare, even shortening the RNC here, but it was only a category 1 and was little more than a glancing blow.

Weather.com said if a category 5 was barreling toward Tampa, it would take about 68 hours to evacuate, and storm surge losses could average nearly $8,000 dollars per capita.

"We've been vulnerable ever since the beginning of time since we had a coast line here in Florida," said Todd Barron, an emergency response meteorologist.

"Here in Tampa we've been lucky the last 91-92 years."

So it's not a matter of if – but when.  Experts say with hurricane season already underway now is the time to be prepared.

"Know the threat of a storm surge, know your evacuation zone," Delagatto said. 

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