A succession of record-breaking natural disasters have swept the globe in recent weeks, shocking climate scientists. We are used to treating each natural hazard independently from another. That’s a mistake. They are all connected.
Weather and Climate
Tropical Storm Elsa made landfall late this morning in Taylor County, and although its path was well west of Flagler County spare it, the storm was cutting a path through Florida’s poorer counties, dumping torrents of rain and leaving thousands without power.
In briefing previewing the hurricane season, Jonathan Lord detailed how Flagler County, fresh from winding down its covid emergency, is ramping up preparations for hurricane or tropical storm emergencies and urging against complacency–or too much attention to statistical probabilities, which mean nothing if that one storm hits.
For all the predictions, Flagler County Emergency Management Chief Jonathan Lord cautions that the numbers and forecasts may all be irrelevant, since a single storm can end up severely impacting the community in the quietest–or worst–season, making all else forgettable.
A “super full moon” is coming on April 27, and coastal cities know that means one thing: a heightened risk of tidal flooding. Because of the moon’s long-term cycle, these are the years to implement infrastructure plans to protect coastal areas against sea level rise.
In a season that overlapped the coronavirus pandemic, most storms spun away from Florida, sparing communities double-barreled crises of responding to a major storm while contending with restrictions and safety concerns imposed by the coronavirus.
Flagler County was preparing to weather a late-season tropical storm as ex-Hurricane Eta was made landfall in the Cedar Key area Thursday morning then started its rapid churn toward Flagler and Northeast Florida.
The governor’s order said the action was being taken “in an abundance of caution,” while the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory that “Eta could be near hurricane strength as it approaches Florida.”
Tropical Storm Isaias will not be much of an issue anymore and evacuations in Flagler won;t be required as emergency personnel ramped down their response Sunday afternoon.
A tropical cyclone moving over the Caribbean is not expected to bring more than wind and rain by Saturday evening or Sunday morning to the Flagler region, and current forecasts don’t see it developing into a hurricane.