Recovery Efforts for Those Devastated by Two Hurricanes
Written By Madison Dutton
Recovery efforts are underway in the Southeast, United States after being slammed with two hurricanes only a few weeks apart. The Carolinas and Florida were hit especially hard with Hurricane Florence on September 14th and then Hurricane Michael on October 4th.
Hurricane Florence struck near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in the morning on September 14th, bringing with it heavy rain and winds of a category four hurricane. Record flooding occurred from the storm surge, causing massive damages to homes as they were engulfed in water. The strength of the wind went up to 130 mph, which caused excessive damage to trees and power lines as trees and power lines fell and snapped.
The excessive damage includes damage to infrastructure, massive power outages, and contaminated water. Common sights that greeted people when they returned home were: empty foundation where their home once stood, homes wrecked beyond repair, a loss of possessions, destroyed buildings, fallen power lines, fallen trees, and destroyed roads.
In addition to the already severe damages, Hurricane Michael struck the panhandle of Florida as a category four hurricane. Much like Florence, Michael caused massive damage with floods, heavy rain, and winds up to 150 mph. Many more homes were destroyed, along with roads, power lines and other buildings. With the total damage taken into account, Michael is said to be one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the panhandle.
Given that the Southeast was hit with not one but two hurricanes in such a short time, the total cost of damages is up in the tens of billions. Recovery, taking into account the total amount of damage is going to be a very slow, painstaking process. For the time being, fallen trees and debris are being cleared away and removed, power companies are rushing to restore power as quickly as they can, and people are in the process of accessing clean water. Repairs and the rebuilding of homes, schools, and commercial buildings are also underway, but will undoubtedly take longer to complete.
Many are concerned on just how long recovery will take, especially since some people still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. They are worried that they won’t get their homes back.
Despite the concerns, many organization are involved in helping people recover their lives back and are receiving a lot of support. Some of the organizations that are currently helping in the recovery and relief are FEMA, American Red Cross, and NVOAD.
FEMA has helped the victims of the Florence and Michael, providing financial assistance for homes and possessions, helping in search and rescue, providing information services for emergency communications, and helping monitor the situation with the insurance commissioners.
In addition, FEMA maintains the flow of supplies, making sure supplies, such as food, water, blankets, clothes, etc., reach people in need.
American Red Cross has since provided relief to thousands of people, with shelters, vehicles and workers to aid in the recovery all across the Southeast.
NVOAD is providing voluntary assistance and they suggest to any that want to help to either donate or sign up to volunteer, as showing up unannounced does not help the recovery process.
Regardless of all the support to the recovery efforts, it will be a long time before the damage of Hurricane Florence and Michael is fixed. With that said, there are plans in the recovery to improve infrastructure to handle the increasing frequency of hurricanes.