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2017 Hurricane preparedness guide

Evacuation maps, shelter locations

If a storm comes, you'll need to know how to get out of town or go to a shelter. Know your county's evacuation routes. Might there be a low-lying area between you and a major route? Study up in advance and have a backup plan. (Note: Some of the maps take a while to load, and it's recommended that you have an updated version of Adobe Flash to display them.)


Surviving the storm

Before a storm threatens Tampa Bay, you'll want to be prepared. If a storm strikes, you'll want to get out of town, or to a shelter. And after the storm, you'll want to survive. Find out how inside the hurricane guide published in print editions of the Tampa Bay Times.

  1. Hurricane Maria takes aim at Puerto Rico after lashing Dominica as Category 5


    ROSEAU, Dominica — Hurricane Maria smashed into Dominica with catastrophic winds, leaving what one official described Tuesday as "widespread devastation" from the monster storm now threatening …

    [National Hurricane Center]
  2. Hurricane Maria intensifies into Category 5 storm, batters Dominica


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria intensified into a dangerous Category 5 storm and pounded the small island of Dominica as it surged into the eastern Caribbean on Monday night, and forecasters warned it might become even stronger.

    Hurricane Maria has intensified into a dangerous Category 4 storm as it bears down on the Caribbean. [National Hurricane Center]
  3. Downed by Hurricane Irma, Wish Tree standing tall again at Salvador Dali Museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — The focal point of the Salvador Dalí Museum's "Avant-garden" has been restored to its previous-Hurricane Irma glory.

     Dali Museum gardener Gus Vargas, right, trims damaged branches next to the museum's Wish Tree on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, after a crew lifted the tree into an upright position. The Florida ficus tree was blown over during Hurricane Irma. "The garden and tree will be in good shape after some cleanup," said Vargas. "It could have been much worse." he said.  The tree is a central feature of the museum's "Avant-garden." [SCOTT KEELER | Times][
  4. Sending help to Hurricane Irma ravaged Cuba is difficult


    MIAMI — Aware that the Cuban government sometimes rebuffs hurricane relief from large U.S.-based charities, Cuban Americans and exile organizations are trying to come up with ways to help friends and family after Hurricane Irma tore through the island's north coast.

    A despondent Mariela Leon sits in front of her flood damaged home after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba, on Sept. 11. Irma was still a Category 5 when it raked Cuba's coast, the first hurricane that size to hit the storm-prone island since 1924. [Ramon Espinosa | Associated Press]
  5. Historic and harrowing: Chronicling Hurricane Irma's destructive path


    We sawed through plywood and boarded up windows, hoarded water and bought stores out of batteries. We took down flags and porch swings and filled up with gas, hit the road or hunkered down.

    In short, we all made plans.

    This photo provided by Caribbean Buzz shows boats clustered together after Hurricane Irma Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. The death toll from Hurricane Irma has risen to 22 as the storm continues its destructive path through the Caribbean.
The dead include 11 on St. Martin and St. Barts, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands and four in the British Virgin Islands. There was also one each in Barbuda, Anguilla, and Barbados. The toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach some of the hardest-hit areas. [Caribbean Buzz via AP]
  6. Irma evacuation nightmare: Next time some may not leave


    FORT LAUDERDALE — After a painful flight across several states to escape unpredictable Hurricane Irma, Suzanne Pallot says it's unlikely she would evacuate South Florida again — an attitude echoed by other evacuees that experts say could put them in danger when the next storm hits.

    Miami evacuee Sora Pallot poses with her grandmother, Suzanne Pallot. Suzanne says she’ll try to stay home next time.
  7. Flooded Withlacoochee residents remain upbeat in face of Irma damage


    DADE CITY — A goat and five ducks, the last remaining residents of the Withlacoochee River RV Park & Canoe Rental, were evacuated Sunday afternoon.

    Aerial drone view of the flooding in the Talisman Estates are of the Withlacoochee river that is currently at major flood stage and will crest at 17.5' later this week.  [Saturday, September 17, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  8. In Irma-devastated U.S. Virgin Islands, resolve blends with worry of being forgotten


    CORAL BAY, U.S. Virgin Islands — Sharon Coldren, standing on the balcony of the Coral Bay Community Council building, raised a megaphone to give a warning to about 100 of her fellow islanders.

    On the hill above Cruz Bay on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, the house where Eugenio Santana Santana, 61, lived was blown away by Hurricane Irma.
  9. Maria upgraded to hurricane; Jose lingering in the Atlantic


    Hurricane Maria was upgraded from a tropical storm Sunday evening.

    The National Hurricane Center's "cone of uncertainty" for Tropical Storm Maria. [NOAA]
  10. Major flooding along Withlacoochee, officials urge evacuation


    BROOKSVILLE — Major flooding is threatening residents along the Withlacoochee River, emergency officials reported Sunday.

    Rising Withlacoochee River water floods the Withlacoochee River Park and Canoe Rental at SR 575 in Dade City, along the river's Pasco County stretch, on Thursday. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]                          

  11. Remember normal? It's back, along with electricity, in some parts of Tampa Bay


    TAMPA — After their power flickered off amid Hurricane Irma's fury, Sydney and Bob Bell decided to stay at their Sunset Park house with their 15-year-old springer spaniel, Bonnie.

    Keystone Little League teams took to the fields on one day's notice Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 as the club decided to get in their first games of the season after weeks of rain capped by Hurricane Irma. "We're kind of relieved its back to the schedule," said mom Angie Doyle, whose son Jackson plays catcher.
  12. Caribbean under hurricane watch again with Tropical Storm Maria following Irma's track.


    Tropical Storm Maria formed in the Atlantic Saturday afternoon, threatening to pound islands already hit hard by Irma with another hurricane early next week.

    Tropical Storm Maria has formed in the Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service.