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Hurricane Florence: Monitoring Danger

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Breanne Oandasan

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December 16, 2018
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Hurricane Florence: Monitoring Danger

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured this wide view of the storm's size.

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured this wide view of the storm's size.

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured this wide view of the storm's size.

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured this wide view of the storm's size.

Recalling the devastating results of last year’s Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, residents on the East Coast prepared last week to avoid the potentially deadly flooding from Hurricane Florence. More than a million civilians were told to evacuate, and those in North and South Carolina living in beach areas cleared out in advance of the storm. Florence arrived with winds 215 km per hour winds and heavy rains for numerous days. Florence was said to be the most powerful storm to hit the United States in decades. Some experts were concerned that this hurricane could cause similar damage to that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

South Carolina National Guard
Photo by Army Sgt. Brian Calhoun
The South Carolina National Guard prepare tanker trucks as they prepare to evacuate civilians.

The three coastline states, North and South Carolina and Virginia, are known to be difficult locations for evacuation. Those unable to flee were housed and aided by over 700 American Red Cross workers who hastily arrived at those East Coast communities. President Trump tweeted regarding the deadly storm, “Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated. It will be arriving soon. FEMA, First Responders, and Law Enforcement are supplied and ready. Be safe!”. Many residents who chose to stay either packed their bags, set up sandbags or simply refused to evacuate or take any precaution.

Experts attempted to calculate the damage that Hurricane Florence would inflict by creating a simulation. This test hurricane acted as a worst case scenario; actual observations proved that this simulation was highly realistic. According to the simulation hurricane, gas stations in the Mid Atlantic region could all lose power. This fictional storm also brought up to 9 inches of rain over a 6 hour period. The reality was that some areas of the Carolinas received 15-30 inches of rain.

Hurricane Florence’s full effect was not just the three coastline states but this storm swung wide and into New England as well. Flooding remains the most serious consequence. Many areas in the direct pathway are inaccessible, leaving the parks like Congaree National Park with no choice but to close. Effects such as these underline just how hazardous Hurricane Florence was in full motion. Civilians continue doing what they can, such as safeguarding property from the effects of flooding and the inevitable clean up. The aftermath suggested the best option to safeguard life was an evacuation.

Image from Congaree National Park website
The National Park temporarily closed due to flooding.

Experts who monitored the storm at first rated Hurricane Florence as a Category 3 storm. It soon looked like the damage would be more severe as the storm was approaching a Category 4 status. As Florence neared landfall this feared storm was downgraded to a Category 1 storm. Despite this relief, the storm was still dangerous as it moved inland on Friday, September 14th and Saturday the 15th. Hurricane Florence spawned tornados in southeast North Carolina. Although the population has received a warning and is taking precautions, there was still an abundant amount of worry and preparations.

“Congaree National Park (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/cong/index.htm.

Ferreras, Jesse. “Hurricane Florence Has Been Downgraded to a Category 1 Storm – but the Danger’s Far from Over.” Global News, Global News, 14 Sept. 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4448878/hurricane-florence-category-1-storm/.

Martin, Jeff. “A Category 4 Storm Could Devastate the East Coast, Simulation Shows. Florence Is Pushing Category 5.” Global News, Global News, 12 Sept. 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4442269/hurricane-florence-category-4-simulation/.

Scheyder, Ernest. “Hurricane Florence Downgraded to Category 3 but Still ‘Extremely Dangerous,’ Officials Say.” Global News, Global News, 12 Sept. 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4442611/hurricane-florence-u-s-east-coast-track/.

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About the Writer
Bree Oandasan, Writer

I am a current Xavier senior, Varsity Cheer Captain, and President of Gonzaga house. I am also involved in The Vatican club. I enjoy art, fashion, furry...

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