Tropical Storm Debby sweeps over the Tampa Bay area on June 24, 2012 dumping hard rain that amounted to almost two feet in places and wind gusts of up to 50 mph. Tornadoes took out power, damaged homes and killed a woman and injured a child in Venus, Florida. High surf from the storm was also to blame for the death of one man at Orange Beach in Alabama.
Hurricanes and tropical storms rarely form in the Gulf and head towards the western coast of Florida where Tampa sits, but obviously it can happen. The last tropical storm that hit Tampa was in 2007. Actually it downgraded to a tropical depression by the time it hit the Tampa Bay area. Tropical Storm Barry left almost 7 inches of rain and sustained 60 mile an hour winds.
Before that, Hurricane Gabrielle formed in the Gulf of Mexico the same day as the 911 attacks in New York City. It hit the Tampa Bay area near Venice on September 14, 2001, leaving 15 inches of rain, sustaining 70 mile an hour winds and leaving 570,000 people without power along the west coast of Florida. High surfs killed two people and flooding left one person dead in Winter Haven.
I moved to Tampa two years ago when I married a man who had been living here since the early 90's. I still love living here despite the possibility of enduring a tropical storm. Tampa is a beautiful city that sits proudly next to the bays of Tampa and Hillborough. Three bridges and one causeway stretch out over the clear blue bay like loving arms reaching out for the ocean. They connect the mainland to the pennisula that hosts the cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Palm trees in abundance decorate the place like an everlasting beach party. Seagulls congregate and shriek in store parking lots much the same as pigeons did back home in Arkansas. The people here are friendly and why wouldn't they be....
It's a great place to live.