PanamaTimes

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hurricane Ian: Florida fears catastrophic flooding as storm nears

Hurricane Ian: Florida fears catastrophic flooding as storm nears

Residents in Florida are anxiously bracing for life-threatening tidal surges, floods and winds as Hurricane Ian approaches.
The storm has already thrashed western Cuba and is expected to intensify before it makes landfall in Florida.

The Tampa Bay region, which is home to more than three million people, is among the most vulnerable places in the US for severe flooding.

The region could see its first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

"It's been around 100 years since Tampa had a direct hit. They've just been lucky for a long time," said Erik Salna, associate director of the International Hurricane Research Center.

Low elevation, rising sea levels, and a large population increase the risk of a catastrophic tidal surge. The Tampa area has all three, according to Mr Salna.

If hit directly, the region could be "unrecognizable" in the next couple of days, he said. "The potential is there."

Hurricane Ian - currently a category three storm, packing winds up to 195km/h (120mph) - is forecast to gain strength as it moves northbound into Florida, passing over the Gulf of Mexico's warm water on the way.

Tornados have been seen in southern Florida, the National Weather Service said, as Ian approaches the coast. Winds could reach up to 140mph before it makes landfall.

Ian is likely to lose speed as it nears Florida, effectively prolonging the storm's effects and threatening up to 20in (1.6ft) of rain in some areas.

And if it does hit Tampa, it will strike one of the state's most densely populated areas.

Over the last 50 years, development has surged along the Tampa region's nearly 700 miles (1,1200km) of shoreline, with people and buildings scattered along the mostly low-lying beach.

"We've moved toward the coast, we've moved toward the water. This is, in its own way, a human nature trainwreck," said Richard Olson, director of the extreme events institute at Florida International University (FIU).

More than 2.5m Florida residents in a number of coastal towns and cities have begun to evacuate, with police going door-to-door in some areas and pleading with people to leave. Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor said on Tuesday that the city would also be implementing a curfew for remaining residents.

"My constant worry is under-evacuation," said Mr Olson. "People say they're going to stay there and wait it out, it just scares me."

The National Hurricane Center said there was a 100% chance of damaging winds and water along Florida's west coast, issuing a hurricane warning 175 miles wide, from Bonita Beach in the south to Anclote River, north of Tampa.

Residents have been buying water bottles in bulk, boarding up windows and moving garden furniture inside. Schools and universities have also canceled classes for the week.

Theme parks such as Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens in Tampa are closing as the storm bears down, while Nasa has postponed the launch of a moon rocket at Kennedy Space Center.

"This is not a drill," Mayor Castor said. "I don't know that it can get much worse, but I'm sure that there's a scenario that it can."

On one flight to Tampa on Tuesday, returning residents discussed the approaching storm. "Oh, you're right in the center of it," one man remarked to a couple living just south of Tampa.

As flights landed, mobile phone alerts blared notifying residents of mandatory evacuation orders across the region.

In the airport, one man said he had not faced the prospect of a hurricane like this in his 43 years of living in the area. "It's the calm before the storm," he said.

The hope for Tampa residents is that the storm moves slightly south, making landfall in the less-populous Fort Myers region.

"I toyed with the idea of writing a disaster movie - a storm goes across Cuba, becomes intense, goes up the west coast of Florida - you know how those movies go," said Hugh Willoughby, a meteorology professor at FIU.

Instead, he told the BBC that Florida's Gulf Coast may suffer a real-world disaster. "It's probably not going to be the worst case scenario, but it's potentially a really bad situation."
Comments

mike 2 year ago
God is angry with the sinners in Florida who hate gays and migrants.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×