New Florida Community Designed for Resilience Survived Hurricane Ian Virtually Unscathed

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Even as two million Floridians lost power during the recent Hurricane Ian, one unique community survived intact.

Despite being located around 20 miles from Fort Myers, the heart of the devastation, Babcock Ranch’s blend of solar power, native flora, and built-to-code construction has meant that apart from ripped up pool coverings, broken fence posts, and a missing shingle or two, they never even lost power.

Roughly 4,600 residents live in Babcock Ranch, billed as a storm-resilient and 100% solar-powered town.

“They were told that Babcock Ranch was built to stand up to storms—but you never really know for sure until you see how everything performs when a storm comes,” Lisa Hall, a community representative, told CBS news. “Ian put it to an extreme test.”

Built around 25-feet higher on average than surrounding communities, Babcock Ranch is beyond the reach of storm waters, and with buildings specified for Cat 4 hurricane winds of 145 mph, Babcock passed the test and how.

Built in 2018 specifically for climate resiliency, the town has its own wastewater plant and water system that penetrates deep into an underground aquifer. Drinking water wasn’t contaminated and never shut off.

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