Millions are without power in Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean as Irma heads inland as a tropical storm. The amount of devastation caused by Irma in Florida is less than predicted, but the Florida Keys are still in bad shape. Roadways to the Keys have been shut down, and families are still not allowed to return home. All across Florida, power outages from the fierce winds brought by Irma. Many reports say it will be a week before flood waters recede in areas around Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, and especially the Keys.
Now, as a tropical storm, Irma heads inland for places like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and other states in the path of the storm. Trump declared a state of emergency for Alabama before Irma hits there in order to warn people that rain will lead to flooding. As a resident of Vermont, I know firsthand that rain alone for two days straight can cause major damage, and loss in the area where it rains; which is what happened with hurricane Irene. Hunkering down in a tropical storm is not necessarily the best idea. Boarding up the house, and sand bags might do the trick. But rain that doesn’t let up for two days is not going to stay where you expect it to. Hopefully those left in Irma’s path will not get hit too hard.
Reports over the last week have not ceased to say Irma could be one of the deadliest hurricanes’ of our time, possibly the worst Florida has seen since hurricane Andrew. However, the scene in Florida is far better than what we saw in Texas from Harvey over the last week. The only issue now is that hurricane Jose is heading east. Predictions are all over the board again, as they were with Irma. Irma was mostly predicted to travel up the east coast of Florida, however, she went to the west side and there were few predictions that showed Irma traveling that direction. In all, we will have to see what happens.
In the meantime, gas prices continue to soar due to the major consumption of fuel down south. Hopefully, those who are already evacuated will continue to stay away from Florida for the time being due to Jose coming up the coast, and the lack of predictability the hurricane poses. While it could be a major threat, Irma lost much of her strength when she reached Florida’s mainland, and dropped to the tropical storm that she is now pretty quickly. We can hope that Jose will do the same, or just come inland as a tropical storm. Either way, evacuations should stay in place till Jose has passed. We need to cut down on the use of gasoline, and let prices drop again.
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