In what seems to be an ongoing trend for devastating weather affecting mainland US families in recent months, Hurricane Michael appears to merely be the latest in a long line of tropical storms which have devastated lives, families, homes and businesses. The storm has captured headlines in recent days due to its sheer and sudden devastation, and also due to the fact that it appears to be breaking plenty of records with regard to US weather in general. Hitting Panama City in Florida, the hurricane was measured to be hitting the US mainland at maximum speeds of up to 155 mph, and with a wind gust recorded of 129 mph by Tyndall Air Force’s weather station ahead of the eye of the storm’s approach.
As sources are reporting, a storm this strong and this devastating is simply unprecedented on a number of levels – in terms of intensity, it is in third place in the US in general, with only hurricanes in 1969 and 1935 having come close. This latest hurricane has led to many discussing the need for greater attention to be paid to evacuation warnings and recommendations – particularly as many will simply not move on unless a forthcoming storm is reported to be intense enough. As Michael has grown so quickly and has approached the mainland US with such intensity, it’s opened up a new debate as to whether or not people are preparing themselves enough for the risks of flooding and building destruction.
As of the time of writing, two people have already died as a result of debris falling from the hurricane – and with warnings of the storm surging across Florida and into North Carolina, it remains to be said that families and individuals should remain on red alert. Many have already ignored evacuation warnings and are now subject to intense flooding – with around 370,000 people having been advised to take immediate action. Officials, however, believe that many have chosen to ignore the warning altogether.
With storm surges believed to still be on the horizon – and with many homes and businesses already without power and electricity, there is no telling quite when these problems will end. For now, at least, anyone in the affected areas should take official warnings extremely seriously – particularly as this is a storm which has already grown and made its feelings known with incredible intensity.