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The storm continued to move slowly even after landfall, turning streets into rivers as torrents of rain fell and strong winds persisted. As of this writing, according to USA Today, more than 500,000 homes and businesses across the Gulf Coast were without power. Water rescues were ongoing and hundreds had already occurred, and the Governor of Florida activated some National Guard troops to help in Pensacola. Roads are impassable in many areas, complicating the response. One local resident of Gulf Shores, Alabama told CNN that the city “Looks like a war zone…Lots of destruction, homes destroyed, roofs gone. I have not had any service, power or internet. Bad night.” Another lifetime Gulf Shores resident told Reuters “No one expected it to be this bad…It’s because it stalled. If it had just passed through, we would’ve been fine.”
Slowed To A Crawl
Hurricane Sally at times slowed to moving around 2 m.p.h. — that is essentially stopped — a person walks faster than that. The same thing happened with several recent hurricanes associated with huge damage — Hurricane Harvey that sat over Houston for days, and Hurricane Dorian sat over the Bahamas — causing huge amounts of destruction just from rain and flooding. Climate scientists say that Atlantic hurricanes are increasingly likely to grind to a halt near the coast and stay there for hours. According to Reuters, though the climate change connection is still being studied, Jim Kossin a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there is evidence that Arctic warming weakens the winds that push a hurricane along its track inland or into the Atlantic away from land.
To Go Deeper:Read the full interactive story about the future climate refugees in America by Abrahm Lustgarten in the NYT Magazine. Here is a devastating excerpt:
“Policymakers, having left America unprepared for what’s next, now face brutal choices about which communities to save — often at exorbitant costs — and which to sacrifice. Their decisions will almost inevitably make the nation more divided, with those worst off relegated to a nightmare future in which they are left to fend for themselves. Nor will these disruptions wait for the worst environmental changes to occur. The wave begins when individual perception of risk starts to shift, when the environmental threat reaches past the least fortunate and rattles the physical and financial security of broader, wealthier parts of the population. It begins when even places like California’s suburbs are no longer safe.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This March will continue to bring more severe weather to the United States. An atmospheric river event — the “Pineapple Express” — is forecast to induce a rainy season in Washington and Oregon, as well as an increased risk of avalanches in the Pacific Northwest. As the Pineapple Express […]
We feel so badly for everyone in Texas suffering through days of bitter cold, many without heat. But the people at the northern U.S. end of the polar vortex are reeling from the cold as well. Low-temperature records are being broken in the northern plains — it’s so cold there that even Siberia was warmer. […]
After snowstorms swept across the South this week, 14 states are expecting power outages, frozen roads, and dangerous conditions. Hundreds of millions will be impacted by the storm. Millions will be experiencing rolling blackouts in the coming days due to stress on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).
Why This Matters: Although it might seem that this polar vortex is an exception to global temperature rise, research says that erratic, far-reaching polar systems like the one we’re seeing now can be directly related to warming temperatures in the Arctic.
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