By Derick Leroy
First there was Harvey, then Irma, then Jose, and lastly Maria. These are the names of the most destructive hurricanes that ripped through the Atlantic and eastern sections of the U.S this year. Likewise, this year will go down as one of the deadliest hurricane seasons ever recorded in the U.S, according to Times News. There have been 103 deaths recorded and an estimated 300 billion dollars’ worth of damage. Furthermore, in recent memory no hurricane season has been like this since 2005. That year included hurricanes like Katrina, Wilma, and Dennis. Yet, the effects of this year’s hurricane season are still in being calculated.
These hurricanes have affected many people in many different ways. For example, a Houston, Texas woman has died from flesh eating bacteria from the Hurricane Harvey flooding. It has been 4 weeks since Harvey has touched Texas and the U.S. border. Hurricane Harvey reached Texas on August 4, 2017 as a category 4 storm with wind speeds of nearly 130 m.p.h. The effects of the storm have left thousands of homes without power and damage. Also, major flooding happened early during this storm, which blocked off interstates and trapped people inside their homes. Moreover, there have been “77 boil-water notices in effect, 19 water systems were down and 31 wastewater systems remained offline,” according to the Texas Officials (Hurricane Harvey Death Toll at 82).
Hurricane Irma was seemingly the most powerful storm of the year, as it was listed as a Category 5 which ripped through the Caribbean. By September 10, 2017 it weakened to a Category 3 as it approached the Floridian border. Still at Category 3, Irma had wind speeds of 110 mph, which brought heavy rain and lots of flooding. As a result, “the storm and its aftermath has killed at least 38 in the Caribbean, 34 in Florida, four in South Carolina, and one in North Carolina,” according to World Vision. Moreover, the hurricane Irma left an estimate of 100 billion dollars of damage.
Hurricane Jose was the first storm that threatened the northeast of the U.S. since Tropical Storm Sandy (2012). Jose was the longest living hurricane of the season, which never touched the East Coast. Since Jose never touched the East Coast, not much was affected; however, it did have wind speeds of 120 mph and caused a lot of rip currents off the coast of the eastern shoreline. Yet, it knocked a lot of tropical birds off their path of travel.
Puerto Rico suffered another hurricane that the island was not expecting. Hurricane Maria struck t the island less than two weeks after being hit by Hurricane Irma. Maria ultimately did what Irma didn’t do. Likewise, half of the island is still without food and water. As a result of the storm the natives’ life style had taken a beaten as seen in Josean Gonzalez’s, a Puerto Rican native’s Facebook post, “I spoke with family member’s in Puerto Rico yesterday. They have been drinking hot soda, eating Vienna sausages, tuna, bread, and crackers. Showers only happens with rain and they collect the rain water for drinking”. Moreover, Maria ripped through Puerto Rico as a Category 4 with wind speeds up to 155 mph. Recently, Maria scraped the coast line of North Carolina, which caused gusty winds and coastal flooding.
Consequently, there are many ways to help and donate to the people who have been affected. Such as on campus (Bryant University), there has been an organization to help support Puerto Rico, Bryant Bulldogs for Puerto Rico. The location is on first floor of the Fisher Student Center and open between 10am and 4pm.