7 Florida Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

Florida is known for its sunny beaches, theme parks, and retirement communities. But not all of its towns are as appealing as they seem. Some of them are facing serious problems such as crime, poverty, pollution, and natural disasters. Here are seven Florida towns that people are fleeing as soon as possible.

1. Opa-locka

Opa-locka is a small city in Miami-Dade County that has been plagued by corruption, violence, and financial woes. The city has the highest violent crime rate in Florida, with 1,967 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019. The city also has a history of political scandals, such as the mayor being arrested for bribery in 2016. The city declared a financial emergency in 2015 and has been under state oversight ever since.

2. Belle Glade

Belle Glade is a rural town in Palm Beach County that is known for its sugar cane production. However, the town also suffers from high poverty, unemployment, and disease rates. The median household income in Belle Glade is $28,699, less than half of the state average. The unemployment rate is 14.6%, more than three times the state average. The town also has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C, earning it the nickname “the AIDS capital of the United States” in the 1980s.

3. Homestead

Homestead is a city in Miami-Dade County that is located near the Everglades National Park and the Biscayne National Park. However, the city is also vulnerable to hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. The city was devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which destroyed 90% of its buildings and left 250,000 people homeless. The city has also experienced frequent flooding due to sea level rise and storm surges. The city is also at risk of wildfires due to its proximity to the dry and flammable vegetation of the Everglades.

4. Pahokee

Pahokee is another rural town in Palm Beach County that is located on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. The town is known for its football talent, producing several NFL players such as Anquan Boldin and Janoris Jenkins. However, the town also faces many challenges such as poverty, crime, and environmental degradation. The median household income in Pahokee is $26,731, less than half of the state average. The violent crime rate is 1,031 per 100,000 residents, more than twice the state average. The town also suffers from water pollution and algae blooms due to the runoff from the nearby sugar cane fields and the discharge from Lake Okeechobee.

5. Panama City

Panama City is a coastal city in Bay County that is a popular tourist destination for its beaches, fishing, and nightlife. However, the city is also prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. The city was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in 2018, which caused widespread damage and power outages. The city also has a high tornado risk, with 36 tornadoes recorded since 1950. The city also experiences frequent flooding due to its low elevation and stormwater drainage issues.

6. Lehigh Acres

Lehigh Acres is a suburban community in Lee County that is one of the fastest-growing areas in Florida. However, the community is also one of the most foreclosed and abandoned areas in the state. The community was developed in the 1950s as a retirement destination, but was later marketed to young families and investors during the housing boom. However, when the housing market crashed in 2008, many homeowners defaulted on their mortgages and left their properties vacant and dilapidated. The community now has a high vacancy rate, a low homeownership rate, and a high poverty rate.

7. Lake City

Lake City is a small city in Columbia County that is located at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and Interstate 75. The city is known for its annual Olustee Battle Festival, which commemorates the largest Civil War battle in Florida. However, the city is also known for its high crime, drug, and suicide rates. The city has the highest violent crime rate in Florida, with 2,007 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019. The city also has a high drug overdose rate, with 49 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2017. The city also has a high suicide rate, with 25 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2018.

Conclusion

Florida is a diverse and attractive state that offers many opportunities and attractions for its residents and visitors. However, not all of its towns are as desirable as they appear. Some of them are facing serious issues that are driving people away. These are seven Florida towns that people are fleeing as soon as possible.

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