Tampa prepares for Hurricane Irma

ABC News' TJ Holmes reports from Tampa that some patients in Tampa General Hospital could not evacuate ahead of the storm.
2:42 | 09/10/17

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Transcript for Tampa prepares for Hurricane Irma
That will come at nightfall. Hard to believe you're still hours away from the worst. Tampa bay expected to get hit hard. T.J. Holmes is there. You have a lot of low-lying land there. Yeah. Especially vulnerable. That's the issue here. Like rob said, a good hard rain, they get flooding. This is a flood-prone area. Now you're talking about storm surge? The issue here for folks. This is 700 miles of coastline. Pristine coastline. People want to be here. They want to live here. They have seen the greatest population growth year after year in the Tampa area. This is where they're living. This I the hillsboro river that dumps out into the bay. They're sitting on water. That's a hospital, actually, right behind me. A lot of people there could not be evacuated. They have storm windows. They have to ride it out. Pan here. They have growth. They continue the build. They have a huge $3 billion project just approved. Cranes. The downtown. What is happening, this is a bustling area where people want to live. Part of the reason that people keep coming here is because they have not had a major storm, a category 3 or above storm here in some 100 years. Since 1921. This is what everyone feared. What would happen if this place gets hit directly, or close to directly by a storm that large. We're about to see it now. We have 14er89s open. Half of them are full. 21,000 people have heeded the warnings. They've made it to shelters. We got word that Uber has now offered to give people free rides to shelters right now. The city has stopped all of its service. If you need a ride, folk, in the Tampa area, they'll give you a free ride to the shelter. This is a shallow bay. All this wind, the five to eight-foot storm surge and wind coming, is going to push this water into the areas that were already prone to flooding in the first place, George. Now they're getting the nightmare scenario that experts have been warning about for years. They warned the city about this in a study not too long ago. They talk about a couple hundred billion burglars in damage could possibly be done to the Tampa bay area if something like that happened. We don't know if that exact scenario will take place. This is the fear they have had for a long time. Why anxiety levels keep raising and raising and raising. That worst fear may be coming true. Right next door, St. Petersburg, Eva pilgrim is there.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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