Storms and time

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Hurricane Irma, NOAA

“Over the last century, we’ve built a weird but remarkable civilization down here in a weird and unsustainable way. This weekend, history’s bill might come due.”

I’m veering between the Browns game and Hurricane Irma coverage today. (You can run with whatever catastrophic disaster joke you’d like.) Along the way, I fell onto this Michael Grunwald piece about the geography and history of southern Florida. It’s the sort of longform journalism that I think is invaluable alongside the more granular breaking news developments (a la CNN’s broadcasts).

Like the rest of the U.S., Florida was forged out of blood and atrocity. But there’s also the constant of tropical storms.

Grunwald uses the 1926 and 1928 hurricane seasons as a pivot to discuss how Florida and the federal government went about creating an elaborate water management system in the southern part of the state, which allowed economic development and population growth.

“But they made South Florida safe only most of the time, not all of the time. Now the Big One might be coming, with millions more people and structures in harm’s way than there were in 1926 or 1928. And Mother Nature looks pissed.”

 

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