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How long can you go without a 100-year flood? Roll the dice.

Tampa Bay is particularly vulnerable to storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms. See how often they can strike.
Published Jan. 20|Updated Jan. 27

If you are reading this on a mobile device and are unable to see the interactive graphics, click here.

When it comes to flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms, Tampa Bay is one of the country’s most at-risk regions. As sea levels rise, the danger grows every year.

That risk can be hard to pinpoint — and even harder to understand. But it affects decisions people make every day.

If you’re a homeowner, you might want to have some idea about the odds of a storm hitting over the course of a standard 30-year mortgage.

So let’s play a game.

You may have heard about a “100-year” flood — an amount of water expected once a century on average. (In Tampa Bay, research suggests that’s about 10 feet of storm surge.) But the term doesn’t mean it can’t happen more often. No one knows when it will.

This simulation shows how often it could happen.

So first, choose a storm type. Pick either a common 30-year-storm or rarer 100-year storm:

We spent the better part of two years reporting about the threat. You can read our project here.

• • •

2021 Tampa Bay Times hurricane guide

IT’S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE: Seven hurricane myths that need to go away

BACK-UP YOUR DATA: Protect your data, documents and photos

BUILD YOUR HURRICANE KIT: Gear up — and mask up — before the storm hits

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Here’s how to keep your pets as safe as you

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter


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