LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. , May 31, 2009 – (AP)– Mike Manikchand points toward his neighbors - a half-dozen empty, foreclosed-upon homes, sitting on weed-strewn yards - and he wonders: What will happen if a hurricane slams into southwest Florida this year?
His simple answer: "A lot of these places will get destroyed."
Unoccupied, these homes would be defenseless in a storm; there will be no one to put up shutters, batten down garage doors and otherwise secure homes. But that's not all. Nearby homes and their residents would also be at risk from wind-propelled debris.
Lehigh Acres and other communities at the epicenter of the nation's housing crisis are coming to realize that this year's hurricane season, beginning June 1, represents yet another pitfall. Hurricanes could make hazards of thousands of foreclosed-upon houses, and their diminished value could decrease even more.Want the whole story?