Hurricane Laura

The alert came across my phone.

A warning that the storm surge approaching the Texas/Louisiana border from Hurricane Laura was “unsurvivable.”

I don’t know about you, but a word like that gets my attention.

Once again, Tampa Bay lucked out. It always seems to avoid direct hits. You only realize how lucky the Bay Area is when you see how close a storm like that is on radar.

I think what scares me most about hurricanes these days is how quickly they intensify in strength. This one was a Category 1 storm just a few days ago. It made landfall as a Category 4—nearly a 5. What caused it to strengthen so fast? Too much warm water feeding it.

But the warm water isn’t just intensifying the massive winds and storm clouds. It’s flooding shorelines as storm surge.

There is a fascinating piece at National Geographic’s website. “Why Hurricane Storm Surges are so Dangerous.”

These walls of salt water rush inward with the hurricane and can flood coastlines for miles inland. In the case of this Hurricane Laura, Louisiana’s Cameron Parish saw over twenty feet of Gulf of Mexico water rushing in.

The National Geographic piece says that storm surge causes not just devastation, but loss of life, too. Almost half of hurricane deaths are from storm surge. Drowning.

We won’t know for days how much damage has come from Hurricane Laura. All we know is it will be significant.

We won’t know for days how many people have died from Hurricane Laura. We all hope everyone heeded the advice of experts and got out in time.

This natural disaster is a life-changing event for a great many people. So many will have to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives.

“Unsurvivable.” A word that catches your attention. Hoping that the others in the eye of that storm the notification, too. Technology today allows for plenty of warning when a storm is coming.

Let’s hope they watched and listened…. and got out.

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