TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) — Thousands of Pinellas County residents are now in new evacuation zones.
The province released a new map of the areas on Wednesday.
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Along Atwood Avenue North, the neighborhood used to be in the orange zone, meaning people had to evacuate about 5 feet of storm surge barrier, but now they’re in red, meaning they would have to evacuate up to 3 feet high at any point. of storm surge.
“If we have to go, I think we’ll just pack up and go on vacation,” says Richard Tubbs, a resident of Atwood Avenue North.
Atwood Avenue North used to be in Evacuation Zone B, but is now in Evacuation Zone A.
“Our A-zone. This is what we would probably do for a Category 1 storm, so these are the first people to evacuate,” said Cathie Perkins, director of Pinellas County Emergency Management.
On Wednesday, after evaluating the possibility of a flood barrier in Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Emergency Management Department released its new evacuation map.
“To see where the risks are to the wave as we move into the future,” Perkins said.
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Perkins says a total of 93,000 homes were affected by the change.
“66,000 are at increased risk, meaning they moved from a Zone B to a Zone A and then we have another group that moved to a lower risk,” Perkins says.
She says 4,700 people who were not in evacuation zones are now.
“Some of our waterways, like Joes Creek, we see in Gulfport, we see in Tarpon Springs,” Perkins said.
She says it’s important to know which evacuation zone you’re in to protect yourself during severe weather.
“Most of the deaths that occur during a hurricane are actually from storm surges, so the water when it comes in will be very fast, and it will be very strong and that’s when people lose their lives,” Perkins said.
Tubbs says this information is critical.
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“You want to take your precautions, you want to be safe and keep your family safe, and in case you have to leave, you need to know when to do it so you don’t overload the freeways,” Tubbs said. †