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Rebuilding in Coastal Flood and Storm Zones

"Storms offer overbuilt coastal towns the opportunity to return to a sane level of development, but only if local officials have the will and the clout to stand up against the enormous pressure to rebuild. In town after town, this has not been the case. In fact, nowadays property owners do not merely rebuild. They replace storm-damaged buildings with even bigger structures. For example, when Hurricane Frederick struck the barrier islands on the coast of Alabama near Gulf Shores in 1979, it wiped out many of the oceanfront cottages there. By then, gulf-front property was far too valuable to waste on modest cottages, so the destroyed houses were replaced by high-rise condos that line the beach at Gulf Shores. The two-lane road that once served as the island's major thoroughfare is now a four-lane highway, built with federal funds, as were new water and sewer lines." (Excerpt from the book, Against the Tide: The Battle for America's Beaches, by Cornelia Dean, Columbia University Press, 1999, pg. 195)

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