Extreme Temperature Diary-April 9, 19th, 2019/ Large Hurricane Aftermaths…Thinking About The Forgotten

Tuesday April 9th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Large Hurricane Aftermaths…Thinking About The Forgotten

In the Northern Hemisphere we are currently transitioning from winter to spring being about six months removed from the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which at its worst featured Michael and Florence. How soon we forget about the horrors of those two storms, which many people are still dealing with. The 2019 Hurricane Season’s devastating effects are likely to be a few months off so at this time of the year the tropics are out of sight out of mind. The old but current adage in media is if it bleeds it leads, so in this hyped up era of short attention spans among news outlets fighting for ratings and eyeballs old natural disasters, even though they are still causing human misery, get buried. In the United States as far as weather goes we most focused on another “bomb cyclone” affecting the Midwest, which certainly warrants attention. Before focusing on that system again tomorrow let’s take a look at the aftermaths of some recent hurricanes affected by climate change.

To their credit the Washington Post has not forgotten about Michael as read here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/survivors-of-hurricane-michael-in-the-florida-panhandle-fear-they-have-been-forgotten/2019/04/05/793ab5ce-563b-11e9-8ef3-fbd41a2ce4d5_story.html?utm_term=.a56324d411bb

Reposting some of this:

Survivors of Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle fear they have been forgotten

Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle, killing 49 people. Many residents still live in temporary housing. (Charlotte Kesl/For The Washington Post) By Patricia Sullivan and Joel Achenbach April 6

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. — The towering debris piles that lined Highway 98 are gone now, six months after the 16-foot storm surge from Hurricane Michael pulverized this town. But smaller berms of waste remain: concrete blocks, rebar, pipes and planks, mounded like artificial dunes on the side of the road.

The landscape is still scraped to bare sand and dirt, denuded of trees and plants. The few longtime residents who remain talk about losing their way because they have no landmarks. The occasional tourist passes through, astonished by the lingering destruction from the storm, which made landfall on Oct. 10, with wind speeds of up to 155 mph.

“You kind of want to believe it’s all okay now,” said Priscilla Moore, 51, of Powder Springs, Ga., who has vacationed here for 47 years. “But oh my goodness, it’s gone, it’s just all gone.”

The stretch of the Florida Panhandle east of Panama City is known as the Forgotten Coast, because it’s so rural and undeveloped — a remnant of a wild, pre-Disney, pre-air-conditioned Florida. That moniker has become more searing in the aftermath of the fourth-strongest hurricane, as measured by wind speed, ever to hit the mainland United States.

Government agencies have cleared the roads and utilities have restored power, water and communications, but thousands of people are still desperate for permanent housing, competing not only with one another for the scarce supply of rental units, but with construction workers who have come into the area.

Many residents are living in damaged homes or trailers unfit for human habitation. Some live in tents. Homeowners are frustrated by stingy insurance companies and bewildering government paperwork, and they’re wary of shady contractors.

Hurricane Michael was the worst storm on record for the Florida Panhandle. Its destruction is still visible. (Charlotte Kesl/For The Washington Post)

In inland Marianna (population 6,000), the federal prisonwith its 500-person payroll is all but closed, its inmates and employees moved to other federal facilities. The state’s institution for the developmentally delayed, which serves 250 clients, is just getting its debris picked up, said Jim Dean, the city manager.

Residents here wonder if their fellow Americans understand their ongoing struggle. Charitable donations flowing into the area have been modest. The American Red Cross calculated that designated donations for Hurricane Michael victims totaled $35 million through the end of March. Hurricane Florence, which hit the Carolinas one month earlier, drew $64.3 million. Hurricane Irma, which made landfall near Naples, Fla., one year earlier, prompted $97 million in giving, and Hurricane Harvey, which devastated South Texas in 2017, attracted $522.7 million.

Michael caused 49 deaths and more than $5.5 billion in damage. Work crews have removed 31 million cubic yards of debris in Florida left by Hurricane Michael, compared to 3 million for Hurricane Irma, a much broader storm that affected the entire peninsula in 2017, according to T.J. Dargan, deputy federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Michael response and recovery effort.

Because Michael happened so fast — slamming the Panhandle just 73 hours after it became a named tropical storm — and affected relatively few people in a rural corner of the Deep South, the storm was overshadowed by other disasters. It was squeezed between the floods that consumed North Carolina after Hurricane Florence in September and the wildfires that devastated Northern California in November.

“To some degree it never really penetrated the American psyche,” Dargan said.

FEMA said it has poured $1.1 billion into Florida in Michael-related response and recovery efforts, the bulk of that in the form of low-interest Small Business Administration loans. It has approved $141 million in individual assistance to 31,000 households affected by Michael, numbers similar to disaster relief provided to North Carolina after Florence.

But Congress has failed to pass a major disaster-relief supplemental-funding bill to pay for long-term recovery from Michael and other disasters across the country. The 35-day government shutdown delayed action initially, and then President Trump and his Republican allies clashed with Democrats over funding for hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico.

The partisanship in Washington does not sit well here on the Panhandle.

(Please continue to read more of the linked article.)

Another more recent hurricane that affected a region of the globe that briefly got on the media’s radar was Idai. Here is a linked article about that system:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-cyclone-toll-factbox/factbox-cyclone-idais-death-toll-stands-at-847-cholera-cases-rise-idUSKCN1RK1YK

Factbox: Cyclone Idai’s death toll stands at 847, cholera cases rise

BEIRA, Mozambique (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of people are in need of food, water and shelter after Cyclone Idai battered Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

As of Monday, at least 847 people had been reported killed by the storm, the flooding it caused and heavy rains before it hit. Following is an outline of the disaster, according to government and United Nations officials.

MOZAMBIQUE

Cyclone Idai landed on the night of March 14 near the port city of Beira, bringing heavy winds and rains. Two major rivers, the Buzi and the Pungue, burst their banks, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the water.

People killed: 602

People injured: 1,641

Houses damaged or destroyed: 239,682

Crops damaged: 715,378 hectares

People affected: 1.85 million

Confirmed cholera cases: 2,772

Confirmed cholera deaths: 5

ZIMBABWE

On March 16 the storm hit eastern Zimbabwe, where it flattened homes and flooded communities in the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

People killed: 185, according to government. The U.N. migration agency puts the death toll at 259.

People injured: 200

People displaced: 16,000 households

People affected: 250,000

MALAWI

Before it arrived, the storm brought heavy rains and flooding to the lower Shire River districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje in Malawi’s south. The rains continued after the storm hit, compounding the misery of tens of thousands of people.

People killed: 60

People injured: 672

People displaced: 19,328 households

People affected: 868,895

Reporting by Emma Rumney and Stephen Eisenhammer in Beira, Tom Miles in Geneva, MacDonald Dzirutwe in Harare and Frank Phiri in Blantyre; Writing by Alexandra Zavis, Alexander Winning and Joe Bavier; Editing by Angus MacSwan, David Goodman and Frances Kerry

You can read much more, of course, about the aftermaths of such recent events as Maria, and Florence. Why is all, this important? Because as climate change related disasters continue to increase they become more of a blur unless we are directly affected. Our eyes as a species can’t focus on one event for too very long before something perhaps worse takes our attention. Psychological denial about the awful things happening to our fellow man also plays a big role in what I’ll term “Climate Change Blurring.”

The same principle applies for those affected by awful wildfires such as those that recently happened across California and Greece.

We will see if CCB becomes a factor going into the political 2020 year on the climate change issue. Certainly the 2019 Hurricane Season will play a big role swaying public opinion on how much to act as far as Green New Deal proposals go.

Tomorrow we will concentrate on that bomb cyclone.

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Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

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