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Post-storm dangers: delayed storm surge and clean-up accidents

The majority of hurricane-related fatalities are caused by water, not wind.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — We dodged a bullet.

It's a cliché you never get tired of hearing.

The majority of the Tampa Bay area did not see the worst of Hurricane Elsa. Even so, there was still some clean-up Wednesday and into Thursday, and oftentimes the days following a storm can be even more dangerous.

Hours after Elsa roared up Florida's gulf coast, crews from Sarasota to Crystal River started the clean-up.

Deaths from U.S. hurricanes and tropical storms are more likely from water, not wind. Storm surge is the deadliest threat responsible for about half of hurricane fatalities.

FIND YOUR HOME: Storm Surge Maps

Sometimes the surge is gradual depending on the winds and high tide. Elsa caused flooded streets about ten hours after the storm passed in the Shore Acres neighborhood in St. Petersburg, but it was nothing compared to past storms.

RELATED: A neighborhood on guard: Shore Acres relieved after Elsa

"Fortunately the storm was moving fast, we got ahead of it, lucked out," said Robert Smith, a 45-year-resident of Shore Acres.

Although Hurricane Elsa felt like a good practice run, it's a good time to remember that clean-up post-storm can be dangerous too. One study showed accidents like falling off a ladder or a roof are common in the days following a storm.

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