The grim weathermen of Weather.com have put together a list of the vulnerable cities that are long overdue to fall victim to a major hurricane, and guess who took top honors? Yes, that's right, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Besides Hurricane Andrew, a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) hasn't made direct landfall on the coast of Miami-Dade since 1950s Hurricane King, and if one does, it could be absolutely catastrophic.
Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was a grim reminder of how vulnerable South Florida is, as its winds wiped out entire neighborhoods in Miami's southern suburbs. Due to its path and small size, however, Andrew spared downtown Miami, the Port of Miami, Miami Beach, and the now even more developed suburbs to the north and west...
Development of high rises along Miami Beach and in downtown Miami has literally skyrocketed during these many years without a direct major hurricane impact. Meanwhile, the population of Miami-Dade County has increased to about 2.5 million, an increase of about 25% since Andrew, and about five times the number of people that lived there in 1950.
We all remember the numerous blown-out windows and structural damage a relatively weaker Hurricane such as Wilma made to downtown, and a direct hit by a major storm could be catastrophic.
New York City, Tampa Bay, Savannah, and Atlantic City rounded up the remainder of the list, and the article reminds us "it is a matter of when, not if, these areas are struck next."
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