Paradise lost: rising sea threatens to cut off Florida Keys homes


Paradise lost: rising sea threatens to cut off Florida Keys homes

Residents of the sun-soaked idyll face losing their homes, and authorities say they can’t keep them dry

Rozina Sabur

Nancy Kaplitz bought a house in the Florida Keys nearly two decades ago, planning to raise her children at the waterfront property and then sell it to fund her retirement. Now approaching her 60th birthday, the neurologist was preparing to cash in by putting the property on the market. But her plans have been plunged into uncertainty, along with those of thousands of other property owners in the sun-soaked island chain.

The Florida Keys is threatened by rising sea levels and worsening floods that will leave roads submerged for several months of the year. In an announcement that shocked residents, the local county has suggested it may not be able to shell out the cash needed to keep them dry. The impact is likely to be plummeting property prices and isolation for many homes during the wet season.

“I felt like my fate was sealed,” Kaplitz said. “This [house] was going to be part of my retirement – you know, sell it and buy something smaller. How do you sell it now?”..

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