Hurricane Florence Rocks the East Coast

Meghan Pavlick ‘21, Arts-and-Entertainment Editor

As many of us are already aware, the United States Eastern coast was recently hit by Hurricane Florence. The hurricane peaked at a Category 4 storm, but by the time it hit land, the storm was downgraded to a Category 2, and eventually, a Category 1. For days, residents in the areas hardest hit, especially in the Carolinas, experienced torrential rain, high winds, flooding, and widespread power outages. AccuWeather estimates that Hurricane Florence will cause thirty to sixty billion dollars in damages. In addition to the financial devastation, the Hurricane wreaked catastrophic damage on a personal level. The current death toll is at 48 people and more than 1,500 people are still living in shelters. As well as causing immensely destructive damage upon its first impact, this natural disaster has also left a ruinous imprint upon the Carolinas and continues to cause more problems.

Residents of the affected areas have been warned about the possibilities of contracting bacterial infections as well as the growing numbers of mosquitoes in flooded areas. One man contracted a bacterial infection in his leg while helping with the cleanup and later died, causing  authorities to caution people to be careful when departing from what is left of their homes or temporary living situations. Adding to the danger of these infections is the lack of previous exposure to the bacteria that causes the diseases in the people who live in the most affected areas. This lack of exposure means that their immune systems cannot effectively battle it. Doctors in the area have also reported that patients have most commonly been treated for bug bites, puncture wounds, and stress or anxiety related issues. Florence’s flooding has also caused the dormant eggs of massive mosquitoes to hatch. These mosquitoes can be three times the size of an average mosquito with a population now in the billions. Clearly the impact of Florence is still being felt along the coast, even though in Pittsburgh we no longer experience the rain and flooding caused by the hurricane. Although only a few states were hit with the most devastating effects of Hurricane Florence, it is necessary for our nation to come together to help survivors recover from this heartbreaking tragedy and rebuild.