As area residents count their blessings this week, they might overlook one of the most significant reasons to be thankful that they live where they do. And, no, it is not residing near the beach, and it isn’t the low crime rate, good schools, recreational opportunities, low tax rates, access to healthcare or the population’s exceptional generosity.
One of the most notable, yet unnoticed, advantages of living here in 2023 is this: 25 weather/climate disasters occurred in the United States in 2023 (so far) and none of them happened here.
Throughout the past 11 months, large swaths of the country suffered through community-leveling tornadoes, hurricanes, raging wildfires, severe drought, massive flooding and paralyzing winter storms. Meanwhile, this little section of the East Coast seemed to benefit from a protective wall.
This might not seem like much to residents here as they pursued their usual routines, unaffected as they were by these calamities, but in terms of weather and environmental disasters, 2023 was the worst on record, according to statistics compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Think about it: ruinous hail storms in multiple locations, extreme flooding in California, drought conditions so extreme that parts of the Mississippi River are becoming unpassable, communities wiped out by tornadoes and freak winds, a paralyzing ice storm in the northeast, which also suffered heavy flooding, the deadliest wildfire in modern history in Lahaina, Hawaii, and, of course, 20 named tropical cyclones.
And this area? Nothing major — a bit of a dry spell, some heavy rain, decent temperatures, no truly damaging winds, all while news outlets were reporting on the disaster of the week everywhere else.
Considering that each of the 25 events caused more than $1 billion in damage, there is no question that the people here are living in the right place at the right time.
Add this safe zone existence to the more recognizable advantages of living here, and that’s something for which everyone should be immensely thankful.