What Tampa Bay would look like if it was hit by a Category 5 hurricane

Tampa Bay due for 100 year storm
Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 18:29:57-04

"I definitely feel for them," said Kevin Schneider of Tampa. 

The viral photo showing the flooding inside a Houston-area assisted living facility could just as easily be somewhere in Pinellas County.



 "It's just roll of the dice. It just depends on the rain," said Schneider.

Kevin Schneider lives in Tampa Bay.

His sister lives just north of Houston where Harvey is still dealing out devastating rain and catastrophic flooding.

RELATED | Crews around the Bay Area head to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey aftermath

"Text messaging just you know about every other couple of hours. You know, how's everything going?" said Schneider who’s been in close contact with his sister.

Schneider, like many in Tampa Bay, knows this could be us in a Category 3 or above hurricane.

"If we had a storm that was a direct hit coming up Hillsborough Bay, we would suffer even probably to a greater degree than what we're seeing in Houston,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

A 2010 study called Project Phoenix funded by FEMA took a look at the Tampa Bay area as if we were hit by a Cat 5.

Power outages would be widespread. All of Pinellas County would be in a power blackout.

Pasco and Hillsborough Counties would experience nearly total power losses too.

Almost 700-thousand people in Hillsborough county would be displaced.

Storm surge would be devastating topping 26 feet in Tampa, 20 feet in St. Pete and in Apollo Beach 24 feet.

Which is the reason Mayor Buckhorn reminds us all why evacuation warnings are so crucial.

"We're not kidding. We're not doing this because we want to impose a hardship on you. We're doing this because I don't want to come get you in a body bag,” he said.

Right now, this scenario is, unfortunately, playing out in Texas where Schneider says his sister is still waiting out days of rain.

"There's a lot of people that looks like their homes are in peril,” he said.