If you were an adult in 1992, you likely remember the havoc wreaked in the United States by Hurricane Andrew. Not since that devastating event, has any tropical storm of such power hit land in the U.S., that is, until this past week. The Florida panhandle now lies in ruin in the near aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
Raging winds and high-level pressure ripped through the Florida basin, leaving miles of ruin behind. It was categorized as a level 4 hurricane. There is only one level higher than that. At its peak, Michael soared with wind gusts tearing through neighborhoods at 155 miles per hour.
Florida had already been hit by Hurricane Florence a few weeks earlier. Approximately 50 people in the United States lost their lives between these two massive forces of destruction. Michael caused deaths in Central America, as well, before hitting the U.S. off the Gulf of Mexico. The economic damage from Michael has been estimated to be $8 billion or more.
After 12 hours of rage, Hurricane Michael weakened to a tropical storm. Search and rescue missions were immediately deployed throughout the Florida panhandle. There were approximately 5,000 people in at least 30 or more shelters with more than 1,000 rescuers deployed.
Mexico Beach, in Florida, may have taken the hardest hit. Michael took landfall there at a force of 155 miles per hour winds and a minimum central air pressure of 919 millibars. Some of the poorest, most rural communities in Florida were let completely destroyed. Many people described the horrific post-storm scene as looking more like an atomic bomb had struck than a natural storm.
Now, America will do what America does best. She will go to the scene of destruction and help her people rebuild. It will take decades, and things will never be the same. As a nation, we mourn the loss of life and hope that those who survive are able to move toward safer, happier futures and that support will be given to them in the form of financial aid, reconstructive effort and friendship for as long as it takes to recover from a hurricane named Michael.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.