By: Allison Rigler and Emily Davis
The newly found tropical storm Dorian is getting very close to Puerto Rico. Although the storm won’t hit Puerto Rico directly, ⅔ of the island will get hurricane force wind and rain. West Florida is also in the path of the storm, The Bahamas, and West Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico has officially declared a state of emergency for their citizens.
The storm is slowly creeping into a category 1 hurricane while Puerto Rico is still trying to recover from hurricane Maria which was a category 5. Dorian currently has 50 mph winds and is traveling at a speed of 13 mph north west. On Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Puerto Rico is supposed to start feeling the storm.
There are hurricane flood watches in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands. There are casualties and a small amount of damage in both areas. The received about one to three inches of rain in the beginning, but there was expected heavy rainfall.
Currently is it August 29, 2019 and the storm has turned into a category 4 hurricane. When it hits land, the wind will be about 140 mph with multiple flash floods. The state governor of Florida has officially declared a state of emergency. The storm is about 4 days away from and now 220 miles away from hitting the east shore of Florida. The shelves of grocery stores are almost completely empty and the citizens of Florida are beginning to evacuate. If they aren’t, they are boarding up their houses in preparation. If the storm stays on track, it will hit almost all of Florida, including Miami, Tampa Bay, JacksonVille, and Orlando.
The major airports in Florida have agreed to waive the fees going to the Bahamas and flights coming into Florida. The airlines include Delta, American Airlines, Jet Blue, Frontier, Spirit, and South West. The cities that hold theses airlines include Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.
Extra supplies are being sent to local retail stores to stock for the incoming storm. Others have resorted to getting the basic needs off of Amazon before the storm hits. This includes food, water, and basic hygienic properties. It is recommended that you get emergency kits, extra batteries, food, and water. There is a high possibility that the power will go out so it is also recommended that people staying in florida get back up generators. The national hurricane center says that Doiran could potentially be a life threatening storm surge.
How are hurricanes becoming worse? It seems that human intervention is making the impact of hurricanes in recent years more and more deadly.
Climate change and pollution has created a prime environment for multiple devastating hurricanes to develop; with temperatures rising and oceans heating up, water levels are rising and fueling these hurricanes more and more. Hurricanes get their energy from hot waters like that of El Niño- the weather pattern that often brings our sunny California rainy weather from tropical storms moving through the Pacific. Warmer water also brings warmer air- with a greater capacity to hold more rain water, leading to more intense rains.
More research also suggests that climate change is leading to the breakdown of atmospheric currents that move summer weather currents along. This then leads to hurricanes stalling over land and creating far more damage inland than in previous years.
Another reason for the devastation from natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian, is the execution of political policy. Puerto Rico still has not fully recovered from Hurricane Maria because of the lack of financial and political aid from the United States, creating millions of casualties from lack of food, clean water, and electricity.
Lack of action and preparation caused the terrible casualties of Hurricane Katrina-according to an engineering investigator, if not for the government’s failure to strengthen the levees, “the worst Katrina would have visited on New Orleans would have been wet ankles.”
With Hurricane Dorian demolishing more and more neighborhoods we can only hope to learn from our mistakes and help rebuild and reinforce against the the next and potentially worse hurricanes in the future.