Water-Related News

Tampa studies how to make its stormwater system handle rising seas

A pilot study showing potential flooding caused by sea level rise is underway.

TAMPA — Tampa has been plagued by flooding for decades, a problem made worse by its inadequate system of pipes, valves and vaults that take rainwater off city streets and into the Hillsborough River and the bays.

Enter climate change. Rising seas threaten to turn a chronic nuisance into a nightmare for many areas of the city. Think Davis Islands, South Tampa, and large swaths of riverfront-adjacent neighborhoods like Wellswood and Rivercrest.

A worst-case scenario? Conjure up a stormy day and throw in an additional 1-1/2 feet of water. For bonus scare-points, add a King Tide into the city’s stormwater system.