Disaster on the Eastern Seaboard

Jack Garrigus, Writer

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Hurricane Florence recently devastated many parts of the eastern United States coastline. Much of the storm was characterized by torrential downpours. The amount of rain had a 0.1% chance of occurring in any given year, allowing media to call this a once in 1,000 year event. Over 30 inches of rain submerged many parts of the Carolinas. Extreme flooding was the true negative the storm brought.

The hurricane first made national news as a Category 4 storm. Florence looked like a deadly force during the formation in the Atlantic Ocean. Its maximum sustained winds clocked out at around 130 miles per hour by September 4. Wind shear continuously wore down the storm. However, by the time Florence made landfall on September 14 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, it had been downgraded to a Category One. It continuously weakened as it moved inward.

Hurricane warnings were given far in advance for the citizens in the path. By September 7, multiple southern states had declared a state of emergency. Donald Trump himself declared an emergency in North Carolina. This gave North Carolina access to federal funds. Panicked citizens evacuated in droves. The Carolina highways were clogged with endless lines of people fleeing. Millions of people in total were displaced due to the evacuation. However, some so-called “storm riders” decided to hunker down instead. Numerous families boarded up their windows and tried to survive Florence’s winds. Grocery stores were raided for supplies. Many preparations were made to protect houses.

Unfortunately, many of these storm riders made poor decisions. Fallen trees, extreme winds, and flooding have caused 40 deaths so far. The vast majority of fatalities occurred in North Carolina. Damages attributed to the hurricane recently surpassed $17 billion. In addition to physical damage to the landscape, many other things were destroyed. A supply of 1.7 million chickens perished during the hurricane. Floods spread pig waste all over residential areas. It’s not over yet, however. Flooding is still occurring throughout the Carolinas. Florence’s impact is far from over.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of Americans are without power. Many more are displaced and away from their homes. Some brave Americans have even died. However, there is hope. Aid is beginning to flow, bringing food to the victims. Donations from across the country are rolling in. Organizations like FEMA are flying to the situation to offer help. Prayers to all victims and those severely affected by Hurricane Florence.