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Storm Surge: Real Threat, or Hollywood Myth?

More than just fun blockbuster CGI, storm surge is the biggest threat residents face in a hurricane

You may have noticed tall signs in your neighborhood warning you about storm surge. Those aren't real, right? Wrong.

Storm surge is what happens when water from the ocean is pushed to shore by weather like tropical storms or hurricanes. During hurricane season, storm surge is one of the primary threats to Hillsborough County residents, and one of the factors that determine whether your neighborhood will be ordered to evacuate.

For example, the following are possible heights of water levels you could see depending on your evacuation zone:

  • Zone A - up to 11 feet
  • Zone B - up to 17 feet
  • Zone C - up to 22 feet
  • Zone D - up to 31 feet
  • Zone E - up to 38 feet

How tall is that really? Here's what storm surge looks like at twenty feet.


That's why it's so important to know your zone, and understanding that when an evacuation is called it's time for your family to leave. Sign up for HCFL Alert to get emergency information sent directly to your phone or email.


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