Building in Low-Living Areas After Hurricanes

After Hurricane Ian, a low-lying Florida city starts to rebuild. Should it?

When Hurricane Michael made landfall last September, it ripped through the Florida Keys, with the highest winds ever recorded hitting the area. The storm killed more than 15 people, and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. After a few weeks, the city of St. Petersburg, Florida, began to recover. It didn’t take long for the city to start rebuilding: The St. Petersburg Times reports that almost 100 businesses closed during the storm, and hundreds of homes were destroyed. St. Petersburg is now on the rebound, with both business and residential reconstruction underway.

At the same time, cities across the country have had to deal with severe weather and natural disasters. There are many lessons to be learned from these two Florida hurricanes: First, rebuilding in the aftermath of a major disaster is almost inevitable—any city will inevitably have to re-think its disaster plan and rebuild after a major disaster. Second, sometimes it is best to hold off on rebuilding (in a low-lying area) until the ground is stable enough for construction to start. Third, rebuilding in low-lying areas is an interesting but controversial option, particularly where there are low-lying areas on both sides of the river.

Low-lying areas are generally avoided after a hurricane because of the risk of flooding. The federal government says that building in low-lying areas is preferable because it reduces flooding risk. However, if a hurricane is on a path that will hit low-lying areas, then it is better to rebuild in those areas. This is because, if there is flooding, it will be harder for authorities to stop the floodwaters from spreading in low-lying areas.

The argument for building in low-lying areas is strongest in areas with high hazard: cities like New Orleans, Houston, and Miami. Those municipalities have been rebuilding in low-lying areas because they were at high risk of being hit. But this is not always the case

Leave a Comment