The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (better known as NOAA) announced last week that with the ending of El Nino, the Atlantic hurricane season is going to get a lot more intense.
Originally classified as a below-normal level of activity, conditions have now changed and suggest that as this hurricane season continues we will see above-normal hurricane activity. Between now and the end of October will be the peak months for hurricanes.
These 5 coastal cities in the US have experienced major hurricanes in the relatively recent past, and are the most vulnerable to a hurricane this year due to poor infrastructure, historical lack of planning, and more. Are you living in an area that is at risk this year?
You might not think of Boston as the typical hurricane hotspot, but Boston’s position near the Atlantic Ocean means it is vulnerable to some serious rain. And with 4.9 million people living in the city, a lot of residents could be affected by a stray hurricane.
In 1991 Hurricane Bob caused over $1.5 billion in damages across all of New England. 28 years later, and Boston has no major plans or preparations for a hurricane scare.
This South Carolina city has a population of over 750,000, but thousands flock to this coastal destination for a relaxing southern vacation every year. While long-term residents know the risk, many tourists tend to not fully understand just how devastating a hurricane can actually be, putting themselves at risk for a little bit of relaxation on the beach.
Hurricane Hugo hit the coast in 1989 as a category 5 hurricane and caused nearly $10 billion in damages Hugo was the last major hurricane that swept through Charleston.
Again, another city you don’t think about when you consider hurricanes – but Philadelphia isn’t that far from the coast. While the major metropolitan area is protected by New Jersey, it would only take a major hurricane with some speed to really dump water and destruction on the city.
Philly is the 10th most populous North American city and the infrastructure is aging aggressively, meaning that even the inland location isn’t enough to fully reassure residents that they could handle a major storm.
Florida is a little more in where you expect a hurricane to hit, but the prices of property in the area mean that a hurricane directly over this coastal city could be hugely damaging. Literally billions of dollars of property are at risk.
In 2017 Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast and still caused a ton of damage. Irma cost over $50 billion for the whole state, and Jacksonville saw flooding of up to 6 feet in some areas simply due to overflow. If a hurricane was to land directly over Jacksonville, the damage could be extreme.
You would think this city was more prepared, but Houston is still struggling with cleanup from Harvey two years ago to even begin to plan what another hurricane would look like over the city.
In 2017 Hurricane Harvey killed 68 people and did over $120 billion in damage to Texas. The reason Houston got hit so hard was urban sprawl – so many different neighborhoods were flooding and rescuers couldn’t get everywhere.
Hurricane Harvey still goes down in Texas history as one of the worst natural disasters in the state.