A lot has changed since a major hurricane last hit Florida, in 2005.
Twitter was not a thing. HBO was best known for The Sopranos. Barack Obama was a guy who gave a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Since that time, the coastal population along the southeastern United States has ballooned. Many living in coastal communities there now have never experienced a major hurricane, defined as a storm of Category 3 intensity and stronger.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to change this on Thursday, when it may hit Florida as a Category 3 or 4 storm.
The hurricane may travel several paths from there, but should it plow north along the East Coast, it would be the first major hurricane to hit South Carolina since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Should Hurricane Matthew make landfall in Georgia after skipping off the Florida coast, then it would be the first major hurricane to hit there from the Atlantic since 1898, although many storms have passed through the state since then.
Florida’s total population climbed from around 17.8 million in 2005 to about 20.2 million in 2015. The population of Miami-Dade, an east coast county in the state, shot up by around 150,000 people from 2010-2015 alone, an increase of 6.3 percent. The population in Broward County rose 4.5 percent during the same period, an increase of about 80,000 people, to a total of 1.8 million residents. In Duval County, currently under a voluntary evacuation, the population has risen 4.8 percent in those five years, to more than 900,000.
South Carolina’s increase in coastal population since their last major hurricane is more stark, given it’s been close to three decades. …
Read full article: For millions in the Southeast, Matthew will be their first hurricane via mashable.com