Op-Ed: Hurricane Ian and the coming climate crash
As Hurricane Matthew approaches the US East Coast, the government is making contingency plans and preparations in an attempt to prevent a major weather event. The hurricane and flood will likely end up being one in a series of “mega-storms” that many believe have been coming to North America for decades. But the government isn’t prepared. In the end, the storm will be worse than it was when the government was first notified.
Last year, Hurricane Matthew hit the US Virgin Islands as a category 4. This year, Matthew will likely be category 5 but could also still be more powerful. During the hurricane’s passage, the storm surge will likely reach around 10 to 20 feet above the highest tide. The National Weather Service is looking at a 20 to 25 foot surge and a storm surge of up to 40 feet for Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Matthew: Potential impact on the US Virgin Islands
The National Weather Service is preparing for four possible paths the hurricane could take as it heads for the US Virgin Islands at the end of its storm surge:
Direct path through the northern edge of Puerto Rico
Interior of Puerto Rico
Northwest Coast of Puerto Rico
The National Weather Service says it is unlikely the direct path will occur, but it is possible the storm will head into Puerto Rico. The storm surge will likely be up to a foot higher at the peak of the storm as it moves over the island and hits more shallow coastal waters. Here is how NOAA defines a category 3 storm:
A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher that could produce a storm surge of 12 to 18 feet in its center and a minimum central pressure of 967 millibars or greater.
If the hurricane did hit the Virgin Islands as a category 3, it would likely result in catastrophic damage to the islands and potentially a lot of damage and loss of life within the US Virgin Islands.
If the storm went unharmed, the government is planning on having their relief effort on standby. The government is prepared to quickly set up a temporary center while they get ready for the storm. The center would be built in or near the capital of the Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, on US Virgin Islands’ North Shore.
The National Weather Service says it is also planning on having teams ready to help people stranded. The center would also be set up to serve as a communication hub