"As Stephen Strader has watched Hurricane Ian barreling toward Florida’s west coast, he cannot stop thinking about all that lies in its path.
“What if Hurricane Ian had occurred in 1950? How many people would be affected?” said Strader, a hazards geographer and professor at Villanova University. “Not nearly as many as now. Our built environment is expanding and growing.”
Florida’s allure has been a constant for generations. But recent decades have brought more transplants — and more development — than ever. In few places is that more apparent than along the swath of coastline facing disastrous impacts from Ian, from the Tampa Bay area south to Fort Myers and Naples.
From 1970 to 2020, census records show, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area grew an astounding 623 percent, to more than 760,000 people. Over that same period, the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area grew to 283 percent to nearly 834,000 residents. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater saw growth of more than 187 percent and is now home to more than 3.1 million people."
Simon Ducroquet, Brady Dennis, and John Muyskens report for the Washington Post September 28, 2022.
"Hurricane Ian Is a Climate Disaster for the History Books" (Bloomberg Environment)
"Ian Ravaged One Of The Fastest-Growing Areas In The U.S." (E&E News)
"Ian’s Rampage Snuffs Out Electricity For 2.5M Fla. Power Users" (E&E News)