Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria: The Aftermath

Violet Wright '20, News Editor

Hurricane Harvey first hit Texas August 13th, acting as the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. and Caribbean, which was followed by many more natural disasters occurring in the southern regions. The storm caused major flooding; many areas received over 40 inches of rainfall. 30,000 people are now homeless, and 81 have been declared dead. This is the first major hurricane to make landfall since Wilma in 2005, yet Harvey has completely destroyed lives in under 4 days.

Shortly after, on August 30th, hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean Islands, devastating the population. Deadly storm surges have damaged a large part of Florida, as well as the Virgin Islands, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Many are left without power, fuel, and food. The damage caused from the hurricane estimates at 50 billion dollars in aid, only in the United States. Reportedly, 72 deaths have occurred because of Irma, and many more serious injuries. Military helicopters are flying out the Keys in order to assess the damage. The category 5 hurricane has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it travels up to North Carolina. Although, as it hit Georgia, 748,000 lost power because of the so-called “tropical storm.” Many are reporting that the wind speed exceeded the levels of tropical storm force. Three deaths were reported in Georgia, as well as one in South Carolina.

Hurricane Maria has almost completely demolished the small island with its 50-mile-wide radius. Communications with the island are scarce because of the limited sources of power found on the island. Resources are starting to run out, and it could take months before power is completely restored. Prior to this, Puerto Rico’s debt, at 70 billion dollars, caused strain on the economy, so now it’s safe to say we should be worried. Many people’s homes have been destroyed, and there’s little chance of them being repaired with the little money the government has. The cost of repairs has not been reported because of little contact, but the president is said to visit the island on Tuesday, October 3rd to assess the damage.

With climate change and hurricane season happening at the same time, the velocity of these storms have grown stronger, and have had a major impact on many families in the U.S. and other tropical islands. It’s very likely the events of these hurricanes have been more devastating because of the warming climate.