Hurricane Erika Was NBD for Central Florida, Where Natural Disasters Are a Way of Life

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As yet another tropical storm leaves its mark on the Central Florida area, homeowners are left making repairs and cleaning up debris in some of the nation’s most natural-disaster-prone areas.

Hurricane Erika had dissipated into “remnants of a tropical depression” after moving past the Gulf of Mexico, the Orlando Sentinel said, but that Central Florida residents should still prepare for storm damage. The National Weather Service warned that Erika was expected to pick up speed again around Monday, August 31, and would be heading up the west coast of Florida.

With hurricane cleanup efforts underway by September 1, it didn’t come as a surprise to most homeowners that multiple counties were rated “high” or “very high” by RealtyTrac for natural-disaster activity. The Orlando metro area was ranked “high” for natural-disaster activity, and Lake County was ranked “very high.”

As the Orlando Sentinel reported, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rated Orange, Seminole, Lake, and Osceola counties to be at a “very high” risk area for hurricane wreckage.

In addition to hurricanes, Florida counties also have a high risk of wildfires; the USDA Forest Service and the Fire Modeling Institute also placed Lake County at a high risk for wildfire activity.

With its high risk for both hurricanes and wildfires, Lake County is considered one of the most disaster-prone regions in the country; the Orlando Sentinel reported that only 14% of counties across the country present this same risk.

Of course, for residents of Central Florida, this isn’t exactly news and it’s hardly a reason to move away from the Orlando metro area. In fact, most residents state that they were well-aware of the storm risks before purchasing a home in the area; instead of choosing to live elsewhere, homeowners simply purchase extensive homeowner’s insurance plans and make repairs to mitigate floor and roof damage resulting from flooding.

All in all, Central Florida residents don’t seem too bothered by the recent weather patterns.

“I don’t think {potential homeowners] give [hurricanes] a lot of thought,” said Mount Dora real estate agent Tammy King. “A lot of them are just looking to get out of the cold and the snow and I don’t think they really care about hurricanes.”

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