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Paleoclimatologists seek clues about hurricanes in ocean sediment as Florida rebuilds after Ian

A homeowner picks through debris from destroyed trailers in the mobile home park where she had a winter home on San Carlos Island in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Oct. 5, 2022, one week after the passage of Hurricane Ian. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)
A homeowner picks through debris from destroyed trailers in the mobile home park where she had a winter home on San Carlos Island in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Oct. 5, 2022, one week after the passage of Hurricane Ian. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

It’s been five months since Hurricane Ian decimated part of Florida. The storm killed 148 people and caused between $50 and $65 billion in insured losses. Across Florida, 5,000 homes were destroyed and another 30,000 damaged.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young visited Fort Myers, where residents are still rebuilding, and went out on a boat trip with Florida Gulf State University’s Water School paleoclimatologist Jo Muller, who studies the history of storms through ocean sediments that can identify storms going back nearly a millennium.

Paleoclimatologist Jo Muller and her students are coring on Fort Myers Estero Bay to look for sediment left by hurricane Ian. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Paleoclimatologist Jo Muller of Florida Gulf State University’s Water School. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

A damaged home in Fort Meyers, Florida. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

A damaged home in Fort Meyers, Florida. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

Captain Adam Catasus. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.