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We explore Tampa Bay's hurricane preparedness, 100 years after the Tarpon Springs hurricane

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Austen Flannery
/
Tampa Hillsborough County Public Library System

Is Tampa Bay better prepared now for a major hurricane?

This week on Florida Matters, we reflect on the 100th anniversary of the Tarpon Springs hurricane, the last major hurricane to directly hit the Tampa Bay region.

The Category 3 storm caused millions of dollars in damage to homes, roads and bridges and a few people died. Back then, leaders downplayed the destructive hurricane so tourists wouldn't be deterred from coming to Florida.

Host Steve Newborn talks about the impact of that storm with Brad Massey, a historian at the Tampa Bay History Center.

RELATED: A major hurricane decimated the Tampa Bay area 100 years ago. Here's what happened

So in addition to revisiting the history, Florida Matters looks ahead and asks: is Tampa Bay better prepared now for a major hurricane? Is storm preparedness being overlooked by government officials and residents?

Newborn talks about that with Craig Fugate, who has served as both the Florida Director of Emergency Management and FEMA Director. He's involved now with groups and companies addressing disaster preparedness in the future.

You can listen to Steve’s conversations with Massey and Fugate by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen to the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.