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Water-Related News

Sea level rise could have water lapping at Tampa's edges in 2040, study says

TAMPA — Rising sea levels could swell Tampa Bay 5 to 19 inches over the next quarter-century, sending more water to lap at the edges of the city of Tampa.

That's one conclusion of a new analysis from the Hillsborough City-County Planning Commission, which looked at how potential sea-level rise could affect Tampa and its most flood-prone areas through the year 2040.

"This is actually one of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge, that this region has," says Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen, whose low-lying South Tampa district already is checkered with flood-prone neighborhoods. He ticks off the challenges affected by rising water: transportation, infrastructure, development, having clean drinking water.

"All these things are inter-related," he says. "Our economic future is dependent on us being dry and us not being so threatened by flooding that people can't live, work and play."

Other local governments around the bay are doing similar work.