ST. PETERSBURG, Florida. – The 2022 hurricane season brings big changes for Pinellas County Evacuation Zones. Every five years, county emergency officials meet with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to see if an evacuation zone needs to be changed based on storm surge levels.
Pinellas County officials said that while FEMA has updated its floodplain maps, this update affects hurricane evacuation zone maps and will not increase property insurance.
AFTER: Survey: Some Floridians reportedly reluctant to evacuate during hurricane season due to high gas prices
Tom Bradley of St. Petersburg was in a “B” hurricane evacuation zone, but has now been moved to the “A” zone.
“I don’t know why we’re in an evacuation zone now – I’ve lived here for 20 years and our street has never flooded,” Bradley said.
In Pinellas, over 34,000 addresses moved from a lower risk area to a high risk area and over 13,500 addresses moved from a high risk area to a lower risk area.
RELATED: Pinellas County updates evacuation zones for nearly 48,000 households ahead of hurricane season
Pinellas Emergency Management said it is ready, but with more people living here there is a need for more shelter space and things could get tough depending on the severity of the storm.
County officials are urging residents to make sure they and their loved ones are prepared. Hurricane season runs from now until November 30.