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Title:'A Beautiful Place That Has a Dragon’: Where Hurricane Risk Meets Booming Growth
Author:Aatish Bhatia

Hurricanes have always struck the shores of the United States.But in recent decades, the combination of climate change and a growing coastal population has made them far more damaging - particularly in one corner of the Atlantic coast.

Gulf Coast regions like coastal Louisiana and Florida frequently encounter powerful hurricanes, of course.

But some of the most hurricane-prone parts of the country lie further northeast, on the Carolina coast.

Between 2016 and 2022, the Carolinas were hit by five hurricanes: Matthew, Florence, Dorian, Isaias and Ian.

At the crossroads of these hurricanes lie the metro areas of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C.

Hurricane paths are slightly smoothed.

These two metros, known for their striking coastlines, have been regularly battered by hurricanes this century.They also have something else in common: Both are among the fastest-growing coastal metros in the United States since 2000.Why do so many people decide to move here despite the risks?And what does that mean for everyone else?

Produced by Aatish Bhatia, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Josh Katz. Photos and videos by Erin Schaff.

For this article, Aatish Bhatia reported from the Myrtle Beach area and interviewed dozens of residents, local officials, climatologists and flood risk researchers.

The hurricanes keep coming, and the people, too: The fastest-growing places along the Atlantic coast this century are also among the most hurricane-prone.

Between 2016 and 2022, the five hurricanes that hit the Carolinas cost the two states over $33 billion in damages in current dollars, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and led to the deaths of more than 90, government data shows.

There’s every reason to expect more damage in coming years: A warming climate adds moisture to the air, unlocking the potential for wetter and more powerful storms. And rising sea levels make storm surges more damaging and coastal flooding...

Organization:New York Times - Climate Section
Date Added:11/20/2023 6:41:19 AM