As of Tuesday the 12th, the death toll from Hurricane Irma officially rose to 12. It has been the most powerful hurricane in recent memory and today, just days after Hurricane Irma was officially downgraded to a tropical storm, the state of Florida and Puerto Rico are still struggling to cope with the aftermath.
The media has been turning out hundreds of hours of video and images of decimated communities, boats grounded far inland of their docks, mobile homes blown apart, houses flattened, and streets filled with dark green water. Enormous trees were uprooted by gusts of wind moving in excess of 140 miles per hour, leaving many grateful only to have survived this historic natural event.
On Monday, the 11th, Senators Bill Sanders, and Marco Rubio surveyed the damage from a Coast Guard helicopter which was loaded with supplies. From their vantage point, they could see that Key West, Long Key, and Key Largo sustained the most damage.
Just as there was bumper to bumper traffic on the roads as Floridians were clamoring to evacuate, today, there’s bumper to bumper traffic as residents rush to return to their properties and assess the damage. Frustrated and tired residents of those areas are now being prevented by authorities from returning to their homes. It’s a measure that’s being taken for their own safety, but for many, it feels like an additional hardship as they have no other place to go.
At present, the weakened storm now just a bombastic thunderstorm system is bringing rain and wind to the Midwest and north east section of the country, as Irma makes its way across Tennessee and Ohio. Currently, roughly 6.7 million Floridians who survived the storm are still without power, and as many as 1 million Georgians are without power as well.
Authorities have said that the power outages could last as long as two to three weeks before utilities are completely restored. Supplies are still scarce as residents are looking for ways to get through the coming days, and a few places are without any utilities at all including running water. Rescue teams are working to remove downed trees and rubble to check for trapped or stranded survivors.
A significant amount of flooding continues to threaten homes as well as the well-being of those still living in areas like Naples, Florida. The storm brought down an estimated 12 inches of rain. While that may not sound like much to most people- in an area like Florida which is largely at or below sea level, there is no place for the water to go underground- making the flooding much worse than it would be otherwise.
However, to everyone’s great relief, the ‘surge’ never materialized. It was estimated that a tsunami-like wave would follow behind Irma as the storm moved northwest, but the tail end of the weakening hurricane proved to be of insufficient strength to cause the dreaded surge. This means Floridians will have an opportunity to focus their energies on recovering rather than having to survive another disaster equal to, or worse than, the first.
In the meantime, lawlessness continues to be a problem as people have been seen looting stores as well as the homes of people who evacuated. This, perhaps, will be one of the most painful aspects of the experience as people will have lost whatever trust in their neighbors and communities that they had before the storm.
In many reported instances, those who chose to remain and were subsequently threated by desperate people looking to loot what they believed to be empty homes- there could be no response from law enforcement as roads and offices were shuttered up and shut down. Indeed, many who tried to contact police found that the lines were dead.
For many, these events have raised the specter of fear that motivates those who have long insisted on being prepared for disasters. Otherwise known as ‘preppers;’ those who stockpile food, supplies, and weapons in order to be ready in just such an event have been vindicated in many instances where rescue and police authorities simply did not have the ability to help. For many of us watching these events unfold, it has served as a stern warning against being unprepared for disaster.
The President has been keeping a close eye on the events of the storm and has been authorizing the military and other organizations to head down there with vital supplies, aid, and rescue efforts. Rather than seek photo ops, Donald Trump said he would stay away from the area until the situation is less dire as the presence of a sitting president always brings with it road blocks and other inconveniences.
~ American Liberty Report