Bad news if you believe you're too far inland to ever have to worry about the threat of hurricanes: The zones are getting bigger.
The Washington Post reports that new research from the nonprofit First Street Foundation shows some disturbing trends in how winds from hurricanes will increase their reach inland. According to the research, cities that were previously out of the range of hurricane-strength winds—think Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, D.C.—will be more likely to take wind impact from tropical storms and Category 1 hurricanes within 30 years.
That weather trend is going to be made worse by population migration, First Street says. More people are moving to a lot of the 235 counties in 18 states that are under these new threats. As the Post reports, "A third of Americans could experience damaging gales by 2053, in places as far inland as Tennessee and Arkansas."
And, because it's a Monday and bad news wouldn't be complete without it, there's disproportionately bad news for people of color. The Post writes, "In 2023, more than 40 percent of the country’s Black population lives in zones deemed at risk for hurricane wind damage. In 30 years, that vulnerability could put about 55 percent of the Black population at risk. The exposure for Asian and White populations will increase from a quarter to a third, and 41 percent of the Hispanic population will be at risk in 30 years, compared with 32 percent now."
Many of those Black people living in newly affected areas also won't be as prepared as coastal cities that are used to hurricanes. It won't be much different than the mindset shift people are making over increasingly huge snow storms in the South and in places like Los Angeles.
Not surprisingly, the worst place in the country to live if you hate the thought of hurricanes (or school censorship) is Florida, which has 20 of the top cities in danger of a major hurricane in the next 10 years.
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