Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: How evacuation zones are determined

Determining evacuation zones

Why would a home located on the west side of Fourth Street at 85th Avenue N (in St. Petersburg) be designated as an "A" flood zone while another home, located on the east side of Fourth Street at 79th Avenue N and closer to Tampa Bay, is in the "B" flood zone?

Evacuation levels in Pinellas County are labeled A, B, C, D and E and are based on the anticipated storm surge from a hurricane, according to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC). The storm surge from a Category 1 hurricane (5-7 feet) is likely to have an impact only on those living in an A evacuation zone. Storm surge from a Category 2 (7-12 feet) would affect the A and B zones, Category 3 (12-15 feet) A, B and C zones, Category 4 (15-20 feet) A, B, C and D zones and Category 5 (20-24 feet) A, B, C, D and E zones. A good chunk of south-central Pinellas is a non-evacuation area, designated in white on the county evacuation maps.

We gave the addresses you provided to Betti Johnson, the principal planner for emergency management at the TBRPC, for further explanation. She said: "The parcels just to the east (of Fourth Street) are slightly higher in elevation than the parcels to the west.

"Pinellas County, in an effort not to over-evacuate, delineates the evacuation zone by parcel using detailed topography, the GIS (geographic information system) Department and the SLOSH (sea, lake and overland surges from hurricanes) model. If 20 percent of a parcel is inundated by the storm surge from the storm scenario, it is included in the evacuation level."

She also points out that the SLOSH model is updated regularly, and that all the zones in the region will be changing this year with new SLOSH Model enhancements and revisions.

A reminder: Flood evacuation levels are set by calculating storm surge danger. Your evacuation level has no impact on flood zones or flood insurance, which are set by FEMA and the National Flood Insurance program, respectively.

Adoption question on census

What is the purpose of the question on the census forms about an adopted child?

Adoption data are collected to inform the government of the diversity of U.S. families and to provide information to better effect government policies related to tax assistance to families with adopted children, programs that encourage adoption or programs that assist families who adopt children, according to Census Bureau officials.

Many of those programs and potential legislative actions are listed by the National Council for Adoption at The census provides the national-and state-level information to the council on the number of adopted children and the characteristics of those families who adopt children.

Q&A: How evacuation zones are determined 04/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 17, 2010 1:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  2. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  3. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  4. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'


    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  5. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack


    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.