Maps show Tampa Bay's storm surge vulnerability

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 18:30:47-04
Angie Rivera can't afford flood insurance on her Port Tampa home.
"What I did was I dropped insurance because we live on a budget," she said.
But she and her husband, who's retired and disabled, have a solid plan to get out in the event of a storm.
"I pack my stuff, my main stuff and head out. North to Orlando, and hopefully it won't follow me there," Rivera said.
A private data company called CoreLogic just released new storm surge maps showing an increase to just under a half million in the overall number of homes at risk due to storm surge in Tampa Bay. 
Also, Florida ranks as the top state with 2.7 million homes at risk to storm surge.
"I know I'm in a yellow zone. Is that a flood zone? I don't know," said homeowner Darrel Jones.
The new maps show South Tampa, Snell Isle, part of Pinellas County and coastal sections of Pasco at extreme risk. 
Port Tampa where Jones lives is also a vulnerable area. 
"I've only been in Florida for eight or nine years and so I missed the last huge hurricane," he said. 
The National Weather Service and Emergency Management for the City of Tampa say the maps reinforce what they've always preached: Tampa Bay needs to be ready.
"Tampa Bay is considered number one for vulnerability here in the United States so that means a lot-- that's very significant," said Tampa Emergency Management's Chauncia Willis.