Tampa, FL Area Hurricane, Oct 1921
The hurricane was the first major hurricane to strike the Tampa Bay region since a hurricane in 1848 and the most recent [until Hurricane Irma in September 2017]. Additionally, since this storm, only a hurricane in 1946 has made landfall in the area.In the past few decades especially, local officials have been concerned about a major hurricane impacting the area due to population increases, older building codes, storm surge projections, and complacency among some residents. The combined population of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties has increased from about 135,000 people in 1921 to approximately 2.7 million by 2011. In Pasco County, more than half of the homes were constructed prior to the enactment of stronger building codes in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. A Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) computer model from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicates that portions of Downtown Tampa would be flooded with over 20 ft (6.1 m) of water in the event of a Category 4 hurricane, while St. Petersburg would be surrounded by water. CoreLogic, an international property information firm, estimated in 2016 that nearly 455,000 homes were at risk of being damaged by storm surge, with costs of property damage and repairs reaching approximately $80.6 billion (2016 USD). Another property firm, Karen Clark & Co., estimated in 2015 that storm surge could inflict as much as $175 billion (2015 USD) in damage in a worst-case scenario.