Both hurricane Irma and Harvey have devastated the United States and other islands with catastrophic damage and flooding. We all know the effect of Hurricane Irma in Florida, but how does it compare to Hurricane Harvey in Texas? Which one was worse?
At peak intensity, Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands at a Category 5 with 185 mph max winds compared to Hurricane Harvey which hit Texas at peak intensity as a Category 4. In Texas, Hurricane Harvey left over 300,000 people without power and Hurricane Irma left over 5 million people without power in Puerto Rico and Florida. Hurricane Irma mainly affected the United States, Turks and Caicos Islands, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin while Hurricane Harvey affected the United States with tropical storm watches in Mexico. Hurricane Harvey will cost over $70 billion in damages and Hurricane Irma will cost $62.9 billion. Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding and over 40 inches of rain in some areas displaced more than 30,000 people. While Hurricane Harvey’s damage was caused by flooding, Hurricane Irma’s damage was caused by its strong winds and storm surges. Hurricane Irma flooded Cudjoe Key with 10-foot water and Miami with waist deep water.
Hurricane Irma and Harvey affected millions of people’s lives and ended some. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the people who couldn’t leave were forced to hold on to dear life as roofs were ripped off and streets were filled with raging floods. People even cut holes into the foundation of their houses to tie their families onto pipes for safety. They were left without power and only one cell tower, and in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the entire communications infrastructure was destroyed. In South Caicos, 75% of roofs were lost and the northwestern neighborhood of Blue Hill was just “gone” according to the Minister of Infrastructure. Hurricane Harvey flooded streets with water above street signs, houses were flooding with fast-moving water as people had to climb out onto their roofs and await rescue. A woman even died from a flesh-eating bacteria that was in the water along with the millions of other contaminants including E. coli and coliform bacteria. People drove boats through the suburban neighborhoods of Houston providing food and water to survivors. Corporations across the U.S. donated over $72 million to relief efforts with celebrities donating over $10 million, and President Trump made a federal request for $5.95 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and also signed law H.R. 601 which designated $15.25 billion in disaster relief for hurricane victims. Singapore dispatched helicopters to the areas affected to work with the Texas National Guard, Mexico sent volunteers, fireman, and rescue teams to Houston but left after Hurricane Katia made landfall on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. After Hurricane Irma Royal Marines provided support to the British Virgin Islands, assault ships arrived in the U.S. Virgin Islands to provide supplies, damage assessment, and evacuation assistance. Four warships that were on their way to assist Texas were sent to the U.S. Virgin Islands. As for our school, we were lucky. Irma moved more towards the east avoiding us. There was no damage to the school, just branches and twigs everywhere. Many students came to help with the cleanup on Tuesday for service hours. Hurricane Irma and Harvey devastated many countries, but with thousands of people donating, we know that the survivors will come back even stronger.
If you would like to donate towards hurricane relief you can donate at handinhand2017.com
France-Presse, Agence. “Number Of Deaths Due To Hurricane Irma Rises To 50 In Florida.” NDTV.com, 18 Sept. 2017, http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/number-of-deaths-due-to-hurricane-irma-rises-to-50-in-florida-1752039.
“Hurricane Irma Meteorological Records/Notable Facts Recap.” Tropical Meteorology Project by Colorado State University, tropical.colostate.edu.
“Hurricane Harvey.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Harvey.
“Hurricane Irma.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Irma.
Images provided by The U.S. Department of Defense and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration