The flip side of years of no hurricanes: Good luck runs out
OCEAN CITY, Maryland - For millions of Americans living in hurricane zones on the Gulf and East coasts, recent decades have been quiet - maybe too quiet.
An MIT professor and The Associated Press calculated that cities like Tampa, Houston, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach historically get hit with major hurricanes every 20 to 40 years. But those same places have now gone at least 70 years without getting smacked by storms with winds exceeding 110 mph.
These are places where people may think they know what to expect from monster hurricanes. But they really don't. They are cities where building construction has boomed but haven't been tested by nature at its strongest.
MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel says those places have been simply lucky to dodge storms. And that luck will run eventually out.