City of Gulfport Historical Storm History
Gulfport’s Municipal Beach also experienced erosion. Evacuation orders were given in Pinellas County that included parts of Gulfport. The Gulfport Fire Department, in a coordinated effort, assisted 112 evacuees and answered 63 citizen calls. Rainfall amount recorded in Gulfport totaled 5.35 inches. Finally, the hurricane made a loop off Cedar Key and then headed northwest making landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi. In more recent times, three storm events have affected the City of Gulfport. Each created flooding situations within the City. March 13, 1993 saw the “No Name Storm” which was referred to as the “Storm of the Century” by the media. Two inches of rain and a strong tidal surge of nearly 5.5 feet above mean sea level caused heavy damage, erosion, and significant coastal flooding. Major wind damage was caused by sustained winds of over 40 miles per hour and gusts over 80 mph. The high winds caused long term power outages. During October 6-8, 1996,
Tropical Storm Josephine unleashed heavy rains, high winds, and high tides in Pinellas County even though the eye was nearly 150 miles north of Gulfport. Rainfall combined with high tides up to 6.3 feet above normal caused flooding within the city’s floodplain. The City of Gulfport recorded over three inches of rain from this storm.
Then, during September 14-18, 2000, Hurricane Gordon peaked on the 17th about 165 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida. It continued to track northeastward and eventually made landfall just northwest of Cedar Key, Florida on September 18th, as a tropical storm with 55 knot winds. Gordon dumped nearly four inches of rain as it passed Gulfport. Although not directly impacted from a major hurricane since 1921, Gulfport has been affected by passing tropical storms and minor hurricanes. With these storms, Gulfport has experienced high tides and limited storm surges, heavy rains, and some high winds. Effects from the passing storms have caused some damages, but not to the extent of what could be flooded and damaged from a major hurricane. Gulfport and the Tampa Bay area have been very lucky by not experiencing a major hurricane since 1921. However, this does not mean that our luck will continue.
It’s not a matter of IF we’ll get hit with a major hurricane, but a matter of WHEN. Therefore, it’s everyone’s responsibility to be prepared every hurricane season. So what can you do to prepare?