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With storms threatening to intensify, should Floridians stay or should they go?

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(AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
In this aerial view captured from a helicopter, the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Ian is shown on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Fort Myers Beach sustained severe damage from the Category 4 hurricane, which caused extensive damage to the southwest portion of Florida.

With hundreds of Floridians remaining in shelters weeks after Hurricane Ian devastated swathes of the Sunshine state, the question many residents face is whether to rebuild—or retreat.

Scientists say Floridians will find it increasingly difficult to keep their feet dry as the effects of climate change cause sea levels to rise and tropical cyclones to become wetter. A soggier Florida, combined with a growing population and the state’s famed low-lying geography, means there is nowhere for water deposited by storm surges and rainfall to go, says Stephen E. Flynn, director of Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute.

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