Just days after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and parts of Louisiana, exiting unprecedented destruction, a fair stronger tropical cyclone was reported heading towards Florida. Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, first brought chaos on the Caribbean, devastating islands like Barbuda and St. Martin on September 6, where it struck with Category 5 winds that on occasion reached as much as 185 mph.
More than two dozen people perished, well as over Ninety percent in the structures were razed down. Images released by NASA’s Earth Observatory show the once lush green islands appearing brown and barren, possibly given that the high winds stripped them of all vegetation.
But Irma was just starting out. After grazing Cuba and Puerto Rico, the hurricane, now downgraded slightly with a Category 4 storm, then raged for the U.S. East Coast where it made landfall twice – the first while in the Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m Sunday, September 10, as well as a couple of hours later, on Marco Island along side state’s southwestern coast.
The powerful storm, which brought gusty winds of as much as 145 mph and sudden tornadoes, downed several utility lines and drenched some areas with nearly 16-inches of rain, causing dangerous flash floods. To make matters worse, Irma, which triggered among the largest evacuations in U.S. history, unexpectedly veered west, but in addition Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, that’s not visited the direct path of a hurricane in over a century.
As of Tuesday September 12, almost 6.5 million people throughout the “Sunshine State” remain without power, and overwhelmed power companies aren’t sure if it will probably be restored. The low-lying Keys, which suffered a number of the worst damage, have limited electricity, gas, and water. Though residents with the Middle Keys, Lower Keys, and Miami were capable to return home this morning, over 100,000 Florida residents continue in shelters and millions more are slowly trickling back after taking refuge in other states.
Though it’s got now been downgraded to your tropical depression, Irma continuously wreak havoc as it travels north. It’s got flooded downtown Charleston, Sc and left over 800,000 people without power in Georgia. The state’s coastal areas, including Savannah and Brunswick, are under bad weather surge warning of 4-6 feet, while evacuees through the neighboring Tybee Island aren’t being allowed to return home due to extensive flooding.
It can take three months prior to when the full extent of the damage inflicted by Irma might be accurately assessed. However, experts estimate it’ll cost you upward of $300 billion or almost double the $180 billion estimated to rebuild and repair the destruction left out by Harvey.
While it takes here we are at affected regions thoroughly recover, it ought to be some consolation that your conditions contribute to powerful hurricanes like Irma are fairly infrequent. According to experts, a hurricane’s strength would depend on three factors: temperature of water, energy moisture inside the atmosphere, and wind shear. The first kind two supply the storm energy, while a minimal wind shear prevents it from dissipating. Absolutely no rare to receive these 3 conditions while doing so, that is just what exactly happened with Irma. Water temperatures have already been about one or two degrees higher in 2010 than usual, mid-air was laden with moisture, as well as wind shear was almost zero! In addition, Irma encountered relatively little landmass on what to unleash its fury simply because it made its way towards Florida.
This isn’t brand new Florida has suffered a hurricane of this magnitude. In 1925, a fresh Miami was hit of what was likely a Category 4, killing 375 people. Quarter of a century ago, Hurricane Andrew, the worst storm within the state’s history, led to $26.5 billion of harm and 15 deaths. However, as South Florida’s population and cities rising, future hurricanes pose bigger threats. Even though there is not really much that you can do to prevent nature’s wrath you can all help by donating money, time, or resources to help individuals who have been displaced.
Resources: theverge.com,latimes.com. nola.com, thevox.com