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Hurricane Michael tears apart Florida towns, 7 dead


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Hurricane Michael tears apart Florida towns, 7 dead

By Devika Krishna Kumar

 

2018-10-11T214506Z_1_LYNXNPEE9A23D_RTROPTP_4_STORM-MICHAEL.JPG

Aerial photo shows homes destroyed after Hurricane Michael smashed into Florida's northwest coast in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S., October 11, 2018. Chris O'Meara/Pool via REUTERS

 

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (Reuters) - Hurricane Michael's violence was visible on Thursday in shattered Florida coastal towns, where rows of homes were ripped from foundations and roofs were peeled off schools by the near-record-force storm blamed for seven deaths.

 

Michael smashed into Florida's northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday with screeching 155 mile per hour (250 kilometer per hour) winds, pushing a wall of seawater inland.

 

"The wind was really tearing us apart. It was so scary you’d poo yourself,” said retiree Tom Garcia, 60, who was trapped inside his Mexico Beach home as water poured in to waist height.

 

He and his partner Cheri Papineau, 50, pushed on their door for an hour to stop the storm surge bursting in as their four dogs sat on top of a bed floating in their home.

 

Video shot by CNN from a helicopter showed homes closest to the water in Mexico Beach had lost all but their foundations. A few blocks inland, about half the homes were reduced to piles of wood and siding and those still standing had suffered heavy damage.

 

Michael, the third most powerful hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm but marched northeast on Thursday, toppling trees with 50 mph (80 kph) winds and bringing "life threatening" flash flooding to Georgia and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center (NHC)reported.

 

At least seven people were killed by the storm in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina from falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents, according to state officials.

 

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, was treating some of the injured.

 

The hospital was evacuating 130 patients as it faced challenges of running on generators after the storm knocked out power, ripped off part of its roof and smashed windows, a spokesman for the hospital's owner HCA Healthcare <HCA.N> said in an email.

 

Much of Port St. Joe, 12 miles (19 km) east of Mexico Beach, was underwater after Michael hit with 155 mph winds, snapping boats in two and hurling a large ship onto the shore, residents said. Only first responders were allowed in and an 8 pm curfew was imposed.

 

DAMAGE 'WAY WORSE' THAN EXPECTED

In Panama City, buildings were crushed, tall pine trees were sent flying and a steeple was knocked off a church.

 

At the city's Jinks Middle School, the storm peeled back part of the gym roof and tore off a wall. A year ago the school welcomed students and families displaced by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

 

"I have had employees going to the communities where our kids live, going door to door and checking," Principal Britt Smith by phone. "I have been up since 3:30 or 4 a.m. emailing and checking on staff to see if they are safe. So far, everybody seems to be very safe."

 

Florida Governor Rick Scott told the Weather Channel the damage from Panama City down to Mexico Beach was "way worse than anybody ever anticipated.”

 

Fast-moving Michael, a Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale when it came ashore, was about 20 miles (35 km) northwest of Raleigh, North Carolina, at 5 pm EDT (1900 GMT) and set to speed up as it headed for the Atlantic coast, the NHC said.

 

Nearly 950,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday.

 

The number of people in emergency shelters was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by Friday, said Brad Kieserman of the American Red Cross.

 

'ROOF-HIGH' FLOODING

Michael pummeled communities across the Panhandle and turned streets into roof-high waterways.

 

Twenty miles (32 km) south of Mexico Beach, floodwaters were more than 7 feet (2.1 meters) deep near Apalachicola, a town of about 2,300 residents, hurricane center chief Ken Graham said. Wind damage was also evident.

 

"Our biggest thing is the downed lines and the downed trees," said Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson.

 

Brad Rippey, a meteorologist for the U.S. Agriculture Department, said Michael severely damaged cotton, timber, pecans and peanuts, causing estimated liabilities as high as $1.9 billion and affecting up to 3.7 million crop acres (1.5 million hectares).

 

Michael also disrupted energy operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by nearly one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated.

 

With a low barometric pressure recorded at 919 millibars, a measure of a hurricane's force, Michael was the third strongest storm on record to hit the continental United States, behind only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys.

 

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Panama City, Florida, Devika Krishna Kumar in Port St. Joe, Florida; Gina Cherelus and Scott DiSavino in New York; Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Gary McWilliams and Liz Hampton in Houston, Jon Herskovitz in Austin and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; Writing by Andrew Hay; Editing by Frances Kerry); Editing by Frances Kerry and Bill Berkrot)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-10-12
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Hopefully, people are well insured with federal flood insurance and they can rebuild a little stronger and better. Several years for a complete recovery but I am sure six months will have most things in order.

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No matter what they say, do not believe this has anything to do with man's action, and the destruction we are wreaking on the earth. It is totally coincidental. Nothing we do can possibly effect the earth, or the oceans. The big corporations constantly tell us that, and as obedient subjects, we must believe it.

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No matter what they say, do not believe this has anything to do with man's action, and the destruction we are wreaking on the earth. It is totally coincidental. Nothing we do can possibly effect the earth, or the oceans. The big corporations constantly tell us that, and as obedient subjects, we must believe it.
There is a movement now to stop calling such events natural disasters.

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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15 hours ago, Ulic said:

Hopefully, people are well insured with federal flood insurance and they can rebuild a little stronger and better. Several years for a complete recovery but I am sure six months will have most things in order.

I have a better idea.
Don't rebuild at all in such places.


 

Quote

 

Why it’s time to stop calling these hurricane disasters ‘natural’

 

As the United States struggles to recover from two back-to-back hurricanes, it would be wise to reflect on why we keep having such calamities and whether they are likely to get worse.

We must first recognize the phrase “natural disaster” for what it is: a sham we hide behind to avoid our own culpability. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires are part of nature, and the natural world has long ago adapted to them. Disasters occur when we move to risky places and build inadequate infrastructure.

In the United States, we have in place a range of policies that all but guarantees a worsening string of Katrinas, Sandys, Harveys and Irmas as far as we can see into the future. Climate change acts as a threat-multiplier to these policy-generated disasters, making them progressively worse than they would have been in a stable climate.

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/19/why-its-time-to-stop-calling-these-hurricane-disasters-natural/

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1 minute ago, Jingthing said:

 

Fair enough to blame the people who live in such areas. I am one myself. I live 6 inches under the hundred year flood plain and anyone who finances a home in this area MUST have flood insurance. I own my house free and clear and I'm not required to have it, but I still do. The costs of Federal Flood Insurance are now exorbinant however. I insure with Lloyds instead.

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44 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Agreed, but don't stop with the Florida panhandle, stop building in areas subject to such disasters; such as Miami and other places where people build mansions on sand, literally. 

 

For capitalist libertarians there is an easy way to keep this from happening; stop making people with the good sense to build on high ground subsidize the fools who build where they shouldn't (Trump and Limbaugh come to mind on the list of such fools).

 

In other words, let insurance companies assess the risk of the area being insured and charge appropriate premiums accordingly.  Fools who buy or build in high risk areas would get exorbitant rates, but appropriate rates.  Those who understand the importance of choosing their home locations wisely would get a much appreciated break on insurance costs when they stop subsidizing the fools.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/09/13/the-strange-story-of-how-floridas-lawmakers-subsidized-hurricane-insurance/?utm_term=.72d526269b8a

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, heybruce said:

Agreed, but don't stop with the Florida panhandle, stop building in areas subject to such disasters; such as Miami and other places where people build mansions on sand, literally. 

 

For capitalist libertarians there is an easy way to keep this from happening; stop making people with the good sense to build on high ground subsidize the fools who build where they shouldn't (Trump and Limbaugh come to mind on the list of such fools).

 

In other words, let insurance companies assess the risk of the area being insured and charge appropriate premiums accordingly.  Fools who buy or build in high risk areas would get exorbitant rates, but appropriate rates.  Those who understand the importance of choosing their home locations wisely would get a much appreciated break on insurance costs when they stop subsidizing the fools.

 

 

 

That has been happening for many years now. Flood insurance is very far from inexpensive these days. Annual premium for the National Flood Insurance Program on my modest home is in excess of $5,000 per year. Lloyds about 75% less. I'm with you on this one. We "fools" should pay the going rate, but no sense overpaying either.

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3 minutes ago, lannarebirth said:

 

That has been happening for many years now. Flood insurance is very far from inexpensive these days. Annual premium for the National Flood Insurance Program on my modest home is in excess of $5,000 per year. Lloyds about 75% less. I'm with you on this one. We "fools" should pay the going rate, but no sense overpaying either.

I'm happy for you, and a little surprised that Lloyds is providing such a bargain.  I hope you locked in a long term contract, I suspect rates will go up significantly.

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1 hour ago, heybruce said:

I'm happy for you, and a little surprised that Lloyds is providing such a bargain.  I hope you locked in a long term contract, I suspect rates will go up significantly.

If you know how Lloyds works you'll know I'm not in the same "pool" as higher risk insurees like those who built their house on stilts outside the mean tide line in the Gulf of Mexico. Those people for many years kept building nicer and nicer homes on their insurance payouts in very vulnerable areas while paying peanuts for their flood insurance coverage. That's over now.

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7 hours ago, lannarebirth said:

If you know how Lloyds works you'll know I'm not in the same "pool" as higher risk insurees like those who built their house on stilts outside the mean tide line in the Gulf of Mexico. Those people for many years kept building nicer and nicer homes on their insurance payouts in very vulnerable areas while paying peanuts for their flood insurance coverage. That's over now.

Actually homes on solid "stilts" sunk deep into the ground are much safer than ground level homes built on slab foundations in storm surge areas.  2002 building codes require the stilts on many parts of Florida's coast.

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11 hours ago, heybruce said:

Actually homes on solid "stilts" sunk deep into the ground are much safer than ground level homes built on slab foundations in storm surge areas.  2002 building codes require the stilts on many parts of Florida's coast.

The homes on pilings beyond the tidal line work good for storm surge and breaking waves, less so for high winds, as they are in the lee of nothing. But the point you make about the 2002 Building Codes is well taken. Many of the homes I'm talking about were erected long agao without permits. but they were stiil compensatedby the then cheap flood insurance and each new iteration of their home was better built for conditions.

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