The day before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I knew how bad it was likely to be. While the winds were not that strong when it made landfall, the huge storm surge and the loss of the levees in New Orleans made the storm catastrophic, although not the worst it could have been. With Hurricane Florence headed for the Carolinas, that sick feeling is back. The storm surge along the coast could reach 20 feet or more in some places. Not as large as Katrina, which had almost 30 feet in a few places, but still a surge that will cause immense damage along the coast. What is worse is the likelihood of days of heavy rain over the area as the storm stalls, dropping feet of rain in an area that has had several terrible floods in recent years. Flooding will destroy thousands of homes, rip up bridges and roadways, and destroy farms and factories. Some people and many animals will die. Some places may never recover. Here are two stories that are related, one discussing how bad Florence could be, and the other describing one Florida’s city’s attempts to recover from Hurricane Irma just a year ago.
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting: One Year After Irma, Everglades City Struggles to Rebuild