Situated in northeastern Florida, the city of Jacksonville is a beacon of progress in northern Florida. From it’s clean, bright streets to the towering, modern buildings that line them, it’s a bright, modern metropolis in every sense of the word. With dozens of things to see and do, it’s truly a criminally underappreciated gem of a city.
However, as is the case with many other cities on the eastern seaboard, Jacksonville is directly in the path of the violent hurricanes that originate off the coast of western Africa and then travel east before hitting the continental United States. While there are certain precautions that can be taken to minimize the effects a hurricane will have on a city, the unfortunate reality is that nothing can fully mitigate the damage a hurricane will do.
Last year’s Hurricane Dorian was no exception to this reality; in fact, the storm’s unusual severity actually made it even more difficult to adequately prepare for. Several dozen states were to be affected by Dorian, and Florida was among those predicted to be most heavily affected by the hurricane. Although the hurricane ultimately missed the state, many lives were still affected by the storm. So what were these effects? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
What was hurricane Dorian?
Like most of the hurricanes that hit the United States every year, Hurricane Dorian originated off the western coast of Africa and began to make its way west. However, unlike many of the hurricanes before it, Dorian was exceptionally powerful. With winds in excess of 200 miles per hour, Dorian was designated a category 5 hurricane on September 1st, after hitting the Lesser Antilles and the Bahamas.
What was the response to hurricane Dorian?
Before reaching the United States, Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas. Dorian was the most severe natural disaster in the island nation’s history, leaving nearly fifty people dead and dozens more missing and injured. The storm also left a devastating path of destruction as it leveled homes and businesses alike and left thousands without a place to live.
In the wake of this sobering display, it became clear exactly how deadly failure to prepare could prove to be. State and local governments of dozens of counties in states on the eastern seaboard enacted emergency evacuation orders, asking families and homeowners to leave the area as soon as possible. Individuals hastily did all they could to hurricane proof their property and prevent damages from wind or rising water levels.
While the hurricane ultimately missed the city of Jacksonville, the financial damage to the city was undeniable. The cost of shutting down the city entirely, from closed schools to evacuated businesses, should not be underestimated. After all, the psychological and economic repercussions of an evacuation can often be comparable to the actual damage a storm may have done.
Hurricane Dorian’s effect on Jacksonville
Although Duval county was not the hardest hit by the effects of hurricane Dorian, it still sustained its fair share of damages. There were a number of different adverse effects on both the local economy and the residents who live there, although thankfully these effects were not as devastating as they were in other places.
The real estate market in Jacksonville was the hardest hit sector of Jacksonville’s local economy by far. Real estate prices dropped by thousands of dollars, and home availability shot up as homeowners scrambled to sell their holdings and move to a more stable area. This resulted in the development of a distinct buyers market in the area, favoring investors and homebuyers with the capital to take advantage of the lower real estate prices.
Local businesses were affected as well, to a lesser extent, particularly those situated on Jacksonville’s beaches. The mandatory evacuations forced many business owners to close their establishments or face going out of business. While these businesses did not sustain a great deal of damage due to distemper weather, the financial hit was undeniable.
Homeowners in Jacksonville were also affected to various extents. Some were left with minor damage to their homes, while others got off with simple evacuation. Despite the overall very limited effect on homes in Jacksonville, hurricane Dorian was a frightening reminder of just how vulnerable the state of Florida is to this type of storm.
While the damage to property in Jacksonville due to the hurricane scare has been quite a scare, the city has been able to bounce back surprisingly quickly. Businesses closed during the storm were quickly reopened, and homeowners rapidly moved back into their briefly unoccupied homes. Today the city is as vibrant and full of life as it’s ever been.
If you’d like to take advantage of this prime market, why not get in touch with one of the best real estate agents in Jacksonville FL? These real estate professionals will help you find the best deals on real estate in the city, whether you’re a home buyer looking for a great place to live or an investor seeking a new market with lots of potential. Before you know it, you might just be calling Jacksonville home!
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