Across Tampa Bay, homes and businesses face a staggering risk of storm surge flooding. Even in weaker hurricanes and tropical storms, the area’s geography and development mean an enormous amount of property is in harm’s way.
Many residents’ only clue about flood risk is through FEMA’s insurance maps. But the threat spreads beyond the official flood zones.
This map shows what areas in Tampa Bay are at risk. Search your address (or another) — or tap directly on the map — to see how many buildings in your neighborhood are on land that could flood. We have included Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
The map combines information from FEMA, the National Hurricane Center and academic researchers, all using different models for different goals. Note that we have aggregated data to the Census Block level, so rather than seeing if a given flood zone extends all the way to your front door, you’ll get a more general view of the risk in your neighborhood. All models are meant to be estimates. Many buildings are elevated above ground, so modeled flooding at a given point doesn’t necessarily mean water damage inside. Blocks with fewer than five buildings were excluded. For more information on how to be informed and prepared, read our guide.
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The Category 1 and Category 2 hurricane models are from the National Hurricane Center’s National Storm Surge Hazard Maps, created with the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model. For these two maps only, we excluded places with modeled surge flooding of 0-1 feet. Note: FEMA maps include areas in the Special Flood Hazard Area as of early 2020, except in Pinellas, which is as of 2021. Maps since updated in other counties may result in different counts than those shown here. The 50-year zone maps are from research published in 2019 on Tampa Bay’s current and future surge hazards and focus on Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee counties only. Buildings were counted in zones if the area contained the geometric center of the building’s floorplan, according to data published by Microsoft. The dataset includes some large garages and other buildings that may share property lots.
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Part 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.
Part 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don’t understand the risk.
Part 3: Read our guides for grasping and managing the threat — both individually and collectively.