Friday, September 8, 2017

Before the Storm: A Special Announcement to Readers about Hurricane Irma

by Nomad

Path of Irma

Today the nation is holding its collective breath as Hurricane Irma sweeps across the Bahamas, threatening the state of Florida and very likely Georgia and the East Coast in general.  The latest prediction is that Irma will make landfall in the early hours of Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.

It is possible - but unlikely- that Irma will surprise the weathermen and veer out to sea. Nothing is impossible. However, Few sane people are counting on that miracle.

The window of opportunity is closing as we speak. By now, all of us have heard the reports of mandatory evacuations and residents desperate to get out of Irma's path. We have seen images of crowded airports and highways blocked with traffic.

This weekend will be historic and probably not in a good way. 
Even before the storm arrives, it is clear that damage from the storm is likely to be in the billions.
A few days ago, a local source explained:
According to a report by the reinsurance firm Swiss Re published earlier this summer, Miami-Dade County has grown so much in the 25 years since Hurricane Andrew that if the same storm swept through today on an identical path, the insured losses would be somewhere between $50 billion and $60 billion. That’s even without factoring in the loss of revenue from taxes and diminished tourism. (In 1992, Andrew’s toll reached $26.5 billion).
But if Andrew had made landfall 20 miles north — directly over Miami, instead of its actual landing near Homestead — the insured losses could have been as high as $180 billion.
To get your head around that figure, consider that if you had 180 billion dollars, you could buy 6,000,000 cars at $30,000 each or 900,000 houses at $200,000 each. 
Again, that's probably a conservative estimate. Businesses and tourism (naturally a big big deal in Florida) will hard hit too.  

In human terms, that means the loss of home and property, the loss of employment and most regrettably, for some, the loss of life. It will be a trauma for all those directly impacted and the nation as a whole. Partisan politics will hopefully take a back seat until the calamity is properly dealt with.

To all of Nomadic Politics readers in Florida and affected areas, I speak for the community when I say that we will be praying (or some secular facsimile thereof) for your safety and that of your family and friends.

Those of you who have not left the state, we expect that you will probably be without power for the next few days and perhaps a week. So, we expect there will be a blackout as Irma hits her stride. Naturally, until we hear from you again, we will fret.

To those of you who have family members in the shadow of Irma, we want you to know that we share your worries and our hearts go out to you.

As a community, we are charged with looking out for each other and doing what we can in a time of need. If you would like to make use of this blog to make contact with friends and family, please do that.
Reach out and I am sure we will not disappoint.
Good luck to you, my friends.

Update: Four live feeds. H/t to Lefty Lucy.