Hurricane Charley (2004)

Tampa hasn't had a big hurricane in 96 years. That's about to change

Tampa hasn't had a big hurricane in 96 years. That's about to change

It has been nearly a century since the Tampa Bay area was in the bull’s-eye of a major hurricane. That changed when Hurricane Irma veered north Sunday and began barreling toward the twin-cities metropolis of Tampa and St. Peterburg and the western coast of the Florida peninsula.

Winds from Irma, which was downgraded Sunday to a Category 2 storm, started battering the region in the evening. And the National Hurricane Center warned that Tampa Bay, home to about 3 million Floridians, could see storm surges of between 2 and 4 feet.

But a sudden turn to the northeast spared Tampa the worst of Irma’s savagery.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Rick Scott had said that flooding was...

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