Bayside Tampa hospital builds flood wall to protect from surge

A flood wall surrounds Tampa General Hospital. (Tampa General)

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 26, 2022—Tampa General Hospital is preparing for a storm surge as Hurricane Ian grows stronger in the Caribbean Sea.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s latest surge forecast, the Tampa Bay area can expect a storm surge of 5 to 10 feet.

The 1,101-bed hospital has more than 8,000 team members and sits on a small island on the north side of Hillsborough Bay, part of the Tampa Bay water system.

To prepare for what the National Hurricane Center is calling a life-threatening storm surge, the hospital has deployed its AquaFence flood wall around the facility.

This FEMA compliant deployable temporary flood barrier is used to protect commercial, municipal and industrial properties worldwide.

The stand-alone flood wall surrounds the hospital, providing a barrier against rising waters.

For now, a pathway through the flood wall is open to allow staff and visitors to go to and from the hospital; however, beginning tomorrow morning, regular visitation will be suspended with few exceptions for labor and delivery and pediatric patients.

At some point before the storm surge begins, the wall will be closed and those inside will remain through the storm and recovery afterwards.

Generators needed to keep the hospital operating have been placed well above ground level to ensure electricity is available during the storm.

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