By Madison Hahen
Every week, it seems that we wake up with the news that there is another hurricane destined to touch down somewhere soon, and often, it seems the east coast of the US has been getting the worst of the US storms. Just recently, North Carolina was hit by Hurricane Florence, but now Florida is the newest victim in the season of hurricanes, being hit by Hurricane Michael last week. Michael proved to be more devastating than expected, as thousands of authorities and volunteers are now down in Florida searching for missing people who did not evacuate during the storm. Florida authorities say that it could be weeks before all missing persons are found, as the search through rubbles to find them has been going on since it was safe to step outside again. Emergency crews are currently trying to ease the minds of hundreds of relatives looking for their loved ones, although the task may be harder than it seems. The fire department says that it could take weeks to search for the missing residents they have received calls about, but they are doing anything they can to find them, alive. Crews have been using bulldozers to remove the rubble and are clearing highways blocked by the wreckage. Since there is no power and cell phone service is very limited, crews are going door-to-door to see if any missing victims are trapped in their homes, which have become isolated areas.
Students who are in the area attending school have also found themselves in a sticky situation. Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt told WNBB “It’s not going to be a normal school year. There’s nothing normal about where we are right now.” The school district has about 26,000 students without a place to go and get an education every day. The schools are not safe enough for the children to enter. Officials are trying to find alternative ways to send these students back to schools and ensure there will be plenty of psychological aid for them, as going back will be very hard for these young kids. Husfelt encourages parents to continue to read to their kids to make them feel as comfortable as possible and try and keep as much normalcy as possible.
A lot of people who have been following all the recent storms have been asking why they keep happening the way they are; fast and impactful. Experts say that Michael, and other storms like it, have come from climate change. The planet has become increasingly warm, which has caused several changes in the environment. One of these changes has affected storms, causing them to produce more rain, and the storm surge has been the worst it’s been in the past 100 years because of the rise in sea levels. Climate Central, a scientific research group, says that hurricanes are expected to intensify more rapidly in the coming decades.
The latest reports say that more than 435,000 people are still without power, and the death toll is at 18 but could continue to climb.