Hurricane Ian destroyed power systems and ravaged homes. One southwest Florida community completely powered by solar escaped with little damage.

25 October 2022 | Lisa Hall

Hurricane Ian’s impact on southwest Florida has been nothing short of devastating. But even as millions lost power, had their homes destroyed and were left in total disarray, one small community managed to get through relatively unscathed.

The community is known as Babcock Ranch, situated just 20 minutes away from downtown Fort Myers, an area among those hit hardest by the storm. The community calls itself “the world’s first solar-powered town.” But what makes life so different for the roughly 4,600 residents? It was built on the basis of sustainability for a future of survival.

“When storms take aim at southwest Florida and evacuation orders are issued, residents of Babcock Ranch are at a distinct advantage,” a representative for the community, Lisa Hall, told CBS News. “Storm safety and resiliency has been factored into every element of design and engineering of the town.”

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