Ian shows the risks and costs of living on barrier islands
SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Experts say that Hurricane Ian is shining a spotlight once again on the vulnerability of the nation’s barrier islands and the increasing cost of people living on them. Florida’s Sanibel Island was hard hit by the storm. Homes were destroyed. Two people have been confirmed dead. And Sanibel’s lone bridge to the mainland collapsed.
Barrier island communities like Sanibel anchor tourist economies that provide crucial tax dollars. But the cost of rebuilding them is often high because they’re home to many high-value properties. Jesse Keenan is a real estate professor at Tulane University. He questions whether such communities can keep rebuilding as hurricanes become more and more destructive from climate change.
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