Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

The Dangers of Dumb Luck for Hurricane-Zone Transplants

The relative calm of the last decade may be luring hundreds of thousands of new coastal residents into a false sense of comfort.
September 29, 2015, 9am PDT | Emily Calhoun
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Paul Stainthorp

When a major hurricane next strikes — and it will — it will very likely hit an area that is even more vulnerable to destruction, with a large group of new residents who might have no experience with extremes of high winds and water,” writes Houston transplant Matt Lanza.

The Houston-Galveston area has welcomed over 800,000 new residents since it's last major hurricane struck in 2008. Since Hurricane Andrew devastated Southeast Florida in 1992, 1.6 million people have moved there.

Meteorologists say that major hurricanes are inevitable, despite the highly unusual streak of misses and near-misses that the coastal regions have experienced of late. They fear that new residents may not have the necessary perspective to comprehend and respond to the dangers. After all, Hurricane Sandy wasn't even categorized as a hurricane by the time it hit the heavily populated New York/New Jersey coastline. A Category 3 hurricane could bring swift destruction to inexperienced residents.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, September 28, 2015 in Five Thirty Eight
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email