Three Storms, Thirty Days

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Harvey

Devastation hit Texas on August 25th when Hurricane Harvey hit. The storm was a category four hurricane and carried winds up to 125 miles per hour. The storm came with a tremendous amount of rainfall giving Houston a year’s worth of rainfall in one week. Damages from the storm have caused Harvey to be the costliest natural disaster in United States record history.

Hurricane Harvey flooded southeast Texas by bringing twenty-seven trillion gallons of rain. Fifty-one total inches of rain fell from the hurricane, breaking the previous record for rainfall from a single storm in United States history. Harvey caused 200 million cubic yards of debris. Thats enough to fill the football stadium at Texas A&M 125 times. Harvey brought 127 trillion gallons of rain. Streets were flooded with water, enough to substitute cars for boats. People were floating on top of their homes in order to stay alive. The amount of water damage present will be a very long, and timely project to clean up. Many locals have made an effort to help the victims. Jim Hoog said “I have given my two daughters ideas on how to ask for donations for the American Red Cross” in an effort to help the victims.

The Governor of Texas Greg Abbott stated that “people need to understand this is not going to be a short-term project. This is going to be a multi-year project for Texas to be able to dig out of this catastrophe” (ABC News). This long term cleanup will be very costly, an estimated $180 billion. Governor Abbott was also quoted saying “the geographic area and the population affected by this horrific hurricane and flooding … is far larger than the population and geographic area of Katrina” (ABC News). Greg Abbott is on his way to leading Texas through a depressing reconstruction that will be long and costly. The people of Texas are in a horrific state at the moment, and need all the help they can get. Many organizations are stepping up in order to give Texas the help they desperately need. For example, national organizations such as Americares, American Red Cross, and Save the Children are all accepting donations from small to large. Anything helps.

Irma

Irma developed from a tropical wave off the western coast of Africa. After 24 hours,  Irma was formed into a category two hurricane. As days passed, Irma continued to gain power. On September 4th, Irma reached a category five hurricane. Two days later the hurricane peaked at 185 miles per hour winds, making Irma the largest hurricane in 2017 so far. Areas including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were put in a state of emergency. Supplies like food, medical supplies, and bedware were shipped to certain locations that were accessible to these countries. More than half of the residents receiving a direct hit took shelter. In Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to postpone their game to a later date. Many other events such as concerts and athletic games were either postponed, or cancelled.

The hurricane struck a numerous amount of countries including the United States, which had the biggest impact, killing 90 people and resulting in 50 billion dollars worth of damages. It was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005. Katrina totalled in 108 billion dollars of damage. Overall, there were a total of 134 deaths and about 62.9 billion dollars of destruction. Other parts of the Caribbean such the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Cuba had severe damages.  

At the time as Harvey and Irma hit, there were also two other hurricanes brewing. Along with Irma, Hurricane Katia and Jose make it the first time three hurricanes were present in the Atlantic Ocean since 2010.

Maria

Hurricane Maria formed in the Western Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm on Saturday, September 16th. By September 19th, the hurricane grew to a category five storm with 175 mile per hour winds as it ran rapidly through the Leeward Islands. The storm hit Puerto Rico on September 20th, and was categorized as a category four storm. Maria was the largest storm to hit Puerto Rico in the last eighty years, and resulted in the entire island without power. In addition, the storm destroyed weather monitoring systems. The storm  ended up hitting the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Turks and Caicos. After Maria hit, Governor of Catano, a city on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, Felix Delgado said “months and months and months are going to pass before we can recover from this” (Fox News).

After these the three large storms concluded, people of the United States are asking “why have there been so many hurricanes so close together”? There has been eight total hurricanes in 2017 so far, and the reason for this is because of a slow working El Niño system, and higher water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean. El Niño systems are used to prevent large storms and hurricanes. With the North Atlantic water being warmer than usual, that made it much harder for the El Niño system to do its job and rip apart forming hurricanes. Our rising ocean temperatures are on a dangerous path that could lead to more environmental destruction in the future.

 

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