ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The 2022 hurricane season comes with big changes to Pinellas County's evacuation zones. Every five years county emergency leaders get together with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to see if an evacuation zone needs to be changed based on storm surge levels.
Pinellas County leaders said while FEMA did update their flood zone maps, this update is for hurricane evacuation zone maps, and won't raise property insurance.
Tom Bradley of St. Petersburg was in a "B" hurricane evacuation zone, but he's now been moved to zone "A."
"I am not sure why we are in an evacuation zone now – I’ve lived here for 20 years, and our street has never flooded," Bradley said.
In Pinellas, more than 34,000 addresses moved from a lower risk to a higher risk zone and more than 13,500 addresses moved from a high risk to a lower risk zone.
Pinellas’ Emergency Management said they are prepared, but with more people living here there is a need for more shelter space and things could get tight 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.