If a major storm heads towards the Tampa Bay area, one option for residents will be to get out of town. But remember that this might not be simple or easy after a storm.
If a Category 3 storm hit us, it’s important to know that many of the area’s main arteries — such as Gandy Boulevard, Courtney Campbell Causeway, U.S. 41 from East Tampa to State Road 674 and U.S. 19 in parts of north Pinellas County and Pasco County — could become impassible.
In 2019, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, along with Metropolitan Planning Organizations from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, participated in a transportation study called “Resilient Tampa Bay.” The study showed that wind, debris, heavy rain and flooding could impair or even disable many major transportation links in our area if there’s a major storm.
Unfortunately, this situation isn’t going to be fixed anytime soon, given that sufficiently addressing these issues could cost more than an estimated $4.7 billion.
So as our local, state and federal government agencies consider ways to improve our transportation network, it’s important for residents to make plans for potential travel now, as hurricane season begins.
Read the full story in the Tampa Bay Times for 5 tips to consider when making an evacuation plan.