Here there is, for once, a “silver lining” story out of Florida relative to a community that survived Hurricane Ian remarkably well.
The place is Babcock Ranch, an innovative community about an hour north-east of Fort Myers, which took the brunt of the hurrican like almost no other community in Florida. At Babcock Ranch, by contrast, the homes did remarkably well. There, the homes were built specifically to withstand hurricanes or other natural disasters without being flooded, or losing electricity, water or even the Internet.
The community is located about 30 miles inland to avoid coastal storm surges. Power lines to homes are all run underground, where they are shielded from high winds. Giant retaining ponds surround the development to protect houses from flooding. As a backup, streets are designed to absorb floodwaters and spare the houses.
And it worked.
The story did not discuss the expenses of building homes and communities this way — and this is surely more expensive than ordinary home design — but then, that does not calculate the costs of building new homes from scratch, which a very large number of residents of Florida are now going to have to do.
The proof is in the pudding.