West Palm Beach, Fla.

Credit: Eighties1980/Wikimedia Commons

New England Snow Birds Closely Watching Irma In Florida

September 8, 2017

Many New England residents are keeping a close watch on Florida as Hurricane Irma tracks closer and Floridians brace for devastation.

Dorothy Jacks is the property appraiser for Palm Beach County, which is home to many expensive waterfront and older homes including President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort. That property is under evacuation orders.

New England residents are especially concerned about elderly relatives housed in Florida retirement homes. Jacks tells WGBH News that "many of those senior residents are nice, newer facilities and were built to a code and a standard that is much higher and probably would withstand a pretty serious impact."

She says building codes were updated to withstand harsh weather conditions following Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago.

In her position as property appraiser, Jacks oversees more than 630,000 parcels of land. She says their greatest fear is storm surge. "The Florida peninsula was built with barrier islands to protect the mainlands ... nature would have it that way," she added. "Now those barrier islands certainly have some of our highest value real estate, and the seriousness of a surge would be very tough on those properties."

To listen to the extended interview, click on the audio player above.

 


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