Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to curb people’s desire to live by the sea. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years, a new AP analysis shows.That city took a glancing hit from Hurricane Irma – one of the most intense U.S. hurricanes in years – but suffered less flooding and damage than some other parts of the state.In 2005, coastal communities took heed of more than 1,800 deaths and $108 billion in damages from Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. The population of those counties expanded by 12 percent from 2010 to 2016, to a total of 5.3 million people, the AP analysis shows.Overall growth of 10 percent in Texas Gulf counties and 9 percent along Florida's coasts during the same period was surpassed only by South Carolina.Nationally, coastline counties grew an average of 5.6 percent since 2010, while inland counties gained just 4 percent. In Horry County, where 19 percent growth has led all of South Carolina coastline counties, Irma caused only minor coastal flooding.
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