Flooding, erosion already impacting coastal Bay Area

- Hurricane Michael is expected to bring higher than usual tides into the Bay Area.

The US Geological Survey has released a map showing exactly what areas of the coast will be overcome, and the sand dunes eroded.

READ: Category 3 Michael barrels toward Panhandle

Scientists are worried most about two areas in the state: The Panhandle and the Bay Area.

On the USGS map, lines of deep red, from southern Pasco to southern Manatee County, show where inner dunes are expected to be overcome by surge waters. The darkest red shows a 90-percent probability of significant erosion.

As the sand dunes go, so does safety from flooding.

With wave heights in the open Gulf expected to reach 40 feet, the USGS expects about four-fifths of Bay Area beaches to be eroded just from the storm's force, even as it's several hundred miles offshore.

RELATED: Hurricane sends high tide washing into Bay Area streets

The effects were being felt a few miles inland already, as Coffeepot Bayou near downtown St. Pete saw streets covered with water Tuesday afternoon.

While we are expecting 2-4 feet of water in our area, the big fear is for the Panhandle, which is expecting water to 16-20 feet above normal. Almost all of the beaches there are going to be eroded.

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