After Hurricane Ian, a low-lying Florida city starts to rebuild. Should it?
The following story was written by Emily Kandel for the Boston Globe. It is reprinted with permission from the Globe.
After Hurricane Ian, a low-lying Florida town starts to rebuild. Should it?
A low-lying Tampa neighborhood that was flooded during Hurricane Wilma has since been back to life. How much should they rebuild?
Hurricane Wilma’s wakeup call is the town of Pinellas Park. The city is now considering whether to rebuild the old-town neighborhood it was forced to leave after the powerful storm hit on Sept. 10.
While it’s too soon to know the full impact of the storm on the city’s housing market, residents have reported having trouble getting their mortgages reviewed. Some have had their mortgages turned down, or even sold.
“They’re doing a fine job,” said Pinellas Park Mayor Mike Hutchison, adding that there is no reason not to rebuild.
“Pinellas Park is a small town,” Hutchison said. “It’s a community — we all stand together.”
The city of Pinellas Park — only one of several low-lying municipalities devastated by the hurricane — has experienced a recent uptick in home sales.
“We’re getting quite a few requests for new homes that have not been on the market,” said Mayor Hutchison.
The first storm after Hurricane Wilma wiped out the city’s housing market. That has been followed by several strong storms, with all but one bringing strong storms.
In addition to the loss of the housing market, the city has received numerous requests for help from displaced residents.
The city is now considering rebuilding the old-town neighborhood. That could include new homes, or old homes that could be restored and reused, or just a patch of land to build on.
The city made the decision to rebuild the neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Wilma and to save it from damage caused by another storm.
“The city got hit with a hurricane and got hit with a cold,” said Mayor Hutchison. “Pinellas Park was in a better condition and better prepared than a number of other communities, and we were not.”
Hurricane Wilma and the