5 Cities in Florida Most Prone to Hurricanes
It’s no secret that hurricanes often directly impact Florida, causing its cities to suffer in the aftermath. But is your city one of those most prone to property damage or fatalities? At All Dry USA, we’re here to help you answer that question. In this article, we’ll discover the top five cities in Florida most susceptible to hurricane damage and why they bear the brunt of most of the impact.
One thing is clear: the odds continually stack against Miami regarding its chances of encountering a hurricane. Miami sits near the top of any Florida list ranking hurricane-prone areas, as there’s a 16% chance that Miami residents will experience the impact of a hurricane in any given year. A hurricane will also likely pass within 50 miles of Miami’s city every 6-8 years due to its 42 ft elevation above sea level.
With most of Miami’s residents living within 20 miles of the coastline, it’s no surprise that they often feel the direct impact of hurricanes passing through, including property damage. The last major storm to cause severe damage was Hurricane Andrew in 1992; this storm brought high winds of 165 mph, making it a Category 5 hurricane. It remains the third-strongest landfalling hurricane in U.S. history.
The total cost of Hurricane Andrew came to approximately 26.5 billion dollars, with high winds and storm surges as the main culprits of any damages caused.
Much like Miami, the Key West area also has a 16% chance of feeling the impact of a hurricane. Key West and its residents are typically affected by a hurricane every six years. Much like Miami, this is due to its location at the southern tip of the Florida Keys, an archipelago of 1,700 islands.
With the Gulf of Mexico situated north and west and the Atlantic Ocean located south and east, Key West is exposed to hurricanes from every angle. Although it isn’t as elevated as Miami – only 18 ft above sea level instead of 42 ft – it remains prone to flooding and storm surges. When Hurricane Wilma hit in 2004, it produced a storm surge of 8ft, leaving approximately 60-70% of the island flooded under water.
Unlike other areas, Key West’s natural areas as an island can make it much harder to evacuate, arguably making it a more dangerous place to live in should a hurricane pass.
Though not as high as Miami or Key West, Tampa has experienced its fair share of damage due to passing hurricanes. The 11% chance of being directly impacted by a hurricane also comes down to Tampa’s location. On a peninsula that lies alongside Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa often experiences storms entering the Gulf or those forming in the Atlantic.
With over 300,000 people living in homes along the coast, it’s no surprise that residents are hugely at risk of storm surges should a hurricane pass. Like in Miami, the residential locations make residents more susceptible to feeling the impact. While the city hasn’t had a direct hit since 1921, 68 tropical storms have passed within 60 miles of Tampa city.
Even recently, Hurricane Charley caused a massive $16 billion worth of damages after the Category 4 landfall hurricane hit the south of Tampa in 2004.
North of Miami, the threat posed by hurricanes diminishes. However, it’s worth noting that being north of Miami doesn’t make residents immune to feeling the direct impact of hurricanes passing by. In 2004, Hurricane Frances made landfall even as a Category 2 storm. With climate change making hurricanes more frequent and intense, it would be appropriate to assume that Melbourne’s lack of immunity is here to stay.
The Central Florida Atlantic Coast is generally susceptible to large hurricanes, but most weaken before they reach areas such as Melbourne. Though less likely to feel a significant impact, Melbourne is vulnerable to storm surges and high winds due to its location.
In 2004, Hurricane Charley, which affected Tampa, also badly impacted areas like Fort Myers. Although the Southwest of Florida isn’t often at the receiving end of hurricane damage, 2017’s Hurricane Irma was the worst hurricane to hit Fort Myers. Another Category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Irma, had winds of up to 150 mph and massive storm surges, causing more than $64 billion in damages.
The hurricane damage lasted for days across Florida, directly affecting those in Fort Myers and leaving residents without power for days following the hurricane. Sadly, there were also fatalities, demonstrating the danger storms present during and after their touchdown.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Part of Florida Is Most Susceptible to Hurricanes?
Miami is the principal city to bear the brunt of a hurricane’s impact. Though numerous hurricanes have directly impacted thousands across Florida, Miami’s geographical location, population size, and the location of homes make it more susceptible to damage and restoration.
Need Damage Restoration After a Storm? Call Us!
Whether you live in a hurricane-prone area or not, the natural forces at be are indiscriminate. Even with its beautiful beaches, simply living in Florida puts you more at risk of experiencing a direct impact.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help if the impact of a hurricane or tropical storm has damaged or overwhelmed your property. Contact ADU today to learn how we can help with storm damage repair in Florida.
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