I don’t know if I have the words to describe what we just saw. Summer has just ended, and within a week we have already witnessed the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. There are some areas along the west coast of Florida that have been literally destroyed. Some have compared the devastation to the dropping of an atomic bomb, and that is no exaggeration. The state of Florida has never experienced a storm like this before, and the recovery will be measured in years.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, it was a Category 3 storm.
Hurricane Ian had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, putting it just 2 mph away from being a Category 5 storm.
But the high winds weren’t what made Ian so horrible.
What made Ian so horrible was the storm surge. Giant walls of water picked up cars, boats, telephone poles and palm trees and tossed them around like toys. According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, what we just witnessed was a “500-year flood event”…
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the storm caused a “500-year flood event” and said Coast Guard helicopters were plucking trapped residents from rooftops. Communities across the state were or will be inundated by the overwhelming waters, he said.
“The impacts of this storm are historic and the damage that has been done is historic,” DeSantis said. “We’ve never seen a flood like this, we’ve never seen a storm surge of this magnitude.”
This storm strengthened well before it made landfall, which caught many people off guard.
It was too late by the time many finally realized they needed to evacuate, and there was apparently a “substantial loss of life” as a result…
“This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida history,” Biden said after a briefing at FEMA’s emergency management headquarters in Washington.
He said the numbers “are not yet clear, but we are hearing reports of what may be a substantial loss of life.”
In fact, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno says “the death toll is in the hundreds”…
“This is a life-changing event for all of us,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told “Good Morning America.”
“I don’t have confirmed figures; I definitely know that the fatalities are in the hundreds,” he added.
“So far, it’s been confirmed by the hundreds,” he said, noting that conditions were too dire for his officers and other rescuers to get a true sense of the disaster.
Did he mean just his county or the state as a whole?
Someone should ask him that question.
This is a true historical tragedy, but some have decided that all this chaos makes it the perfect time for a crime spree…
Amid the chaos of Hurricane Ian, looting and other crimes have been reported in Lee County.
In coordination with Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, the County Commission, city managers and councils, Dejarlais announced a 6 p.m. curfew for Lee County, which will be in effect until new notice
“To be sure, and I feel confident conveying this on behalf of law enforcement, there will be a zero-tolerance policy for looting and violence in this city,” Dejarlais said.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there is looting.
Whenever there is some kind of major disaster, this is what some of us do.
It is truly disgusting.
This is a time when everyone should be united. According to one estimate, the economic damage from this storm could be around $260 billion…
Experts expect the damage to cost up to $260 billion, although cleanup efforts cannot currently begin as areas of Florida remain underwater.
Before Hurricane Ian, the costliest natural disaster in US history was Hurricane Katrina.
According to the GAO, Katina caused $170 billion in damage…
Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and Irma (selected hurricanes) caused damage and costly challenges for some populations in affected communities. In these communities, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated the cost of damage to be approximately $170 billion for Katrina, $74 billion for Sandy, $131 billion for Harvey, and $52 billion of dollars for Irma. These estimates include the value of damage to residential, commercial and government or municipal buildings; material goods within the buildings; business interruption; vehicles and ships; offshore energy platforms; public infrastructures; and agricultural assets.
At this point, it looks like Katrina has been knocked out of the top spot.
At the end of September 2022, we have witnessed the costliest natural disaster in US history by a wide margin.
And Ian isn’t done yet.
As I write this article, the city of Charleston is “preparing for a direct hit” very early Friday morning…
Charleston is bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Ian with storm surges of up to 7 feet as it hurtles toward the historic city after barreling through Florida, leaving swaths of the state decimated and at least 13 dead.
Monster Storm Ian has been upgraded from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane as it heads north toward South Carolina to hit the state Friday morning, as well as neighboring North Carolina and Georgia.
It is expected to hit Charleston around 8 a.m. on Friday, and surrounding states are also under several severe weather advisories.
If the damage in Charleston is taken into account, the total economic damage from this storm could easily exceed $300 billion.
This is not something we can easily recover from.
For years, I’ve been warning that unprecedented natural disasters would be headed our way.
Now it’s happening right before our eyes.
Summer is over, autumn is here and winter is coming.
We’ve been through a lot already, but the rest of 2022 will inevitably have even more surprises for us.