Sitting in the sweet spot: Tampa Bay and hurricanes


Another swing and a miss for named storms that could have come to the Tampa Bay Area. Whether we are the pet of the gods, in some kind of geographical sweet-spot, or just lucky, Tropical Storm Erika lost her gumption before she could get to us, just like so many before her.

The last time a major hurricane hit the Bay Area it was 1921. A couple of Category 1 hurricanes have paid a visit, but no major hurricane has been able to get at us. We’ve seen devastation around the state many times from hurricanes, but these named storms just never seem to have our number.

That’s why it’s hard to get up with the get down, because well, it’s a pain in the ass.

Remember all that work we did boarding up our windows and buying stuff we don’t really need or have room to store because it really looked like Hurricane Charlie was coming with the hammer. Then he said, “Fuck it. I’m ready to tear some shit up,” and took a hard right into Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. And we had lovely weather that evening, in St. Pete anyway. And lots of cans of Spaghetti-Os to deal with.

Around here, it seems like the best thing to do is hit the liquor store, complain about the weather and post “holy crap look at this flooding!” pics on Facebook. Bonus points if you have a small boat or paddle board that you can pimp down your street like a boss.

Still, we shouldn’t get too cocky. Erika dissipated, but not before she took 20 lives on the island of Dominica, and she is still likely coming by to dump an ass-ton of water on us for a couple of days. She’s not going to beat our car with a baseball bat, but she gon' key it all up real good.

With the recent 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we all remember seeing the poor souls who thought they could ride it out at home stuck on their rooftops, so really, you just never know. Sometimes it’s not the wind. Sometimes it’s the water.

According to internet weather folks, the ground in much of the Bay area is still saturated from our recent three weeks of rain. With the rain that Erika might be bringing, we are set to break the record for the most rainfall in July/August since 1960.

Which brings to mind the real threat — those annoying dicks who will breed in the unavoidable standing water: mosquitoes. Even though their name rhymes with a delicious nacho cheese flavored snack, make no mistake — they are the deadliest creatures on earth, responsible for West Nile, malaria and some 755,000 human deaths a year worldwide.

With recent reports of West Nile Virus popping up in Florida (five humans so far, including one case in Pinellas County), let's be mindful of standing water, shall we? We may have avoided the dangerous winds again, but it’s still Florida. There will always be a bunch of critters around that could kill us. 

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