Sample Environmental Studies Paper on Worst Hurricanes along the Gulf Coast

One of nature’s powerful storms is the hurricanes. Hurricanes are responsible for producing strong winds, heavy rainfall that can result in inland flooding, storm surge flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. Hurricanes bring along tremendous damage to coastal towns and cities. Natural environments along the coast are also affected by them, and even though their storm surges always last for a short time, they cause a tremendous amount of damage. Across the globe, around 10,000 people die annually in tropical storms and hurricanes. In these situations, the silver lining is that people and communities always join hands to aid others in times of calamity.

The 1900 Galveston hurricane is by far the most deadly natural adversity to impact America. As a category four hurricane, the disaster made landfall accompanied by winds of about 145 mph (McElreath et al., 529). It first crossed Cuba as a tropical storm but emerging from Florida straight and rapidly build up into a hurricane. In the Mexican Gulf, the storm unrelentingly churned, thus gaining strength before turning into Texas. As the storm went north, it gradually debilitated as it passed over Oklahoma, Halifax, the Great Lakes, and Canada’s Nova Scotia. As much as there have been more powerful hurricanes in the past, this particular one came along with a high death toll and massive destruction. It is effortlessly premeditated to be the nastiest hurricane to hit America with its total damage adding up to 21 million dollars. The hurricane’s lowest pressure was 936 mb. The storm surge rose to 15 feet, whereas Galveston lays at 9 feet above the sea level.

Another worst hurricane that has been witnessed in the gulf coast is the Miami hurricane of the year 1926. As the 1920s dawned, Miami turned out to be one of the rapidly- growing cities in America, having an influx of persons from across the country. Thus, most residents were unacquainted with the hurricanes and the impacts. The U.S weather Bureau was contacted by ships on 11th of Sept 1926, to notify them that a hurricane was about a thousand miles east of the Leeward Islands. According to the country’s Weather Bureau preliminary reports, Florida inhabitants were informed that the storm would not likely strike their state, and a hurricane cautionary was thus not dispensed till less than 24 hours before the disaster made landfall.

The disaster’s eye passed right over the skies of Miami, and they cleared for almost 35 minutes. Not knowing that the worst of the storm was yet to come, many persons got out from their households and packed the streets. There was a 10- foot storm surge at the storm’s height with max winds logged being 150 mph with a low pressure of about 930 mb. The hurricane led to a damage of about 105 million, killing 372 people and injuring 6,000 others. The economy of Florida was wrecked by the desolation of this disaster, together with the Great Depression.

Just two years after the Miami hurricane, the Okeechobee hurricane hit Florida, crippling the state’s southern part. This particular hurricane serves as one of the most destructive and deadliest storms that ever hit America. The tropical cyclone industrialised off the African coast on 6th Sept of the year 1928 and intensified rapidly to a tropical tornado by the end of the daylight. As the hurricane slide west across the Atlantic, it continued to gain strength and became a category four hurricane before it sticking Guadeloupe on 12th of September. It then continued to roll over Montserrat, Martinique, and Nevis as category 4, leaving behind a path of destruction. It slammed into Puerto Rico on the third of September as category five accompanied by 160 mph winds.

Eventually, after numerous days of thrashing the Bahamas, the disaster made landfall in Florida around West Palm Beach as a category four storm. The disaster’s high storm surge and 145 mph wind ruined about 1,711 households alongside Florida’s coast. The storm then slowly turned north and weakened into category one hurricane before it returned back into the Atlantic and from there made another landfall in South Carolina.  It resulted in 4,079 deaths with damage of about 100 million dollars. In Puerto Rico, 24,728 homes were devastated, 192,444 got dented, and 500,000 people ended up being displaced. Moreover, storm gush led to Lake Okeechobee pouring out the southern edge, thus causing floods.

The picture below showcases damage caused by Okechobee disaster (Okechobee disaster)

In August of 1992, a category five hurricane, hurricane Andrew, pummelled South Florida as well as the gulf coast. Actually, the storm industrialized in the eastern Atlantic on August 16 and then took a weak snaking west with no noteworthy signs of becoming stronger.  Rapidly, the storm strengthened to category five hurricane just afore arriving at the Bahamas on 23rd of August. The hurricane concisely dropped to category four over the Bahamas, but it swiftly reverted to category five before banging into the coast of Florida on 24th of August. Having a central pressure of about 922 mb, it made landfall, thus rendering it to be the fourth most powerful hurricane to hit the United States. A few hours later, Andrew emerged in the Mexican gulf as category four and speedily turned right and debilitated to the third category afore making a second touchdown on 28th August in Louisiana.

Andrew was characterized by low pressure of 922 mb and 175 mph winds with damage totaling to 26.5 billion dollars. The death toll was 65, with 1.4 million people losing power at the height of the storm (Floodplain, 129). Oil companies lost about 500 million dollars. Apart from hurricane Andrew, hurricane Katrina barrelled in and crushed everything in its path at the gulf coast in the year 2005. This hurricane is at the topmost of the list as the costliest natural disaster and the third deadliest storm to ever strike the United States. Katrina rapidly intensified into Tropical Storm the very next day after developing over the Bahamas on August 23. The tropical storm went westward towards Florida and gradually gained strength to category one hurricane a few hours before landing at Hallandale beach.

Before emerging into the Mexican Gulf, Katrina briefly weakened into a tropical storm then later intensified and moved to category five hurricane over the warm gulf seawaters (Wang and Ganapati, 296). This storm ultimately made a second touchdown in southeast Louisiana as category 3. The hurricane’s most disastrous impacts resulted from the storm gush and not of the wind because of its sheer size. The surge was able to penetrate 6 miles inland across most of South Mississippi and about 12 miles inland along rivers and bays. A storm surge of 10 to 19 feet also came about from water being pushed west into Lake Pontchartrain. The network of channels and canals around New Orleans was also instigated with enormous amounts of water, resulting in the rupturing of floodwalls and levees and 80 percent of this particular state underwater. The hurricane resulted in damages of about 108 billion dollars, with 1,577 people dying. Moreover, more than 10,000 oil gallons got leaked into the Mexican gulf.

The image below showcases the effects of hurricane Katrina (Appleton, 2020)

In conclusion, one of nature’s powerful storms is hurricanes. The 1900 Galveston hurricane is by far the most deadly natural adversity to impact America. It is easily premeditated to be the worst hurricane to hit America with its total damage adding up to 21 million dollars. Another worst hurricane that has been witnessed in the gulf coast is the Miami hurricane of the year 1926. The hurricane led to a damage of about 105 million, killing 372 people and injuring 6,000 others. Just two years after the Miami hurricane, the Okeechobee hurricane hit Florida.  It resulted in 4,079 deaths with damage of about 100 million dollars. In Puerto Rico, 24,728 households were destroyed, 192,444 got dented, and 500,000 people ended up being homeless. In August of 1992, a category five hurricane, hurricane Andrew, pummelled South Florida and the gulf coast. The death toll was 65, with 1.4 million people losing power at the storm’s height. Oil companies lost about 500 million dollars. Hurricane Katrina barrelled in and crumpled everything in its trail at the gulf coast in the year 2005. The hurricane resulted in damages of about 108 billion dollars, with 1,577 people dying. The oil companies also got affected, with 10,000 oil gallons being spilled into the Mexican gulf.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Appleton, Michael. Hurricane Katrina. 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/natural-disasters-and-environment/hurricane-katrina. Accessed 27 Sept 2020.

Floodplain, J. (2019). Postscript: The Phoenix Effect Revisited: Hurricane Andrew, South Florida, and the Rise of Punctuated Entropy Christopher L. Dyer. The Angry Earth: Disaster in Anthropological Perspective48(3), 169.

Lake Okechobee Hurricane- September 16, 1928. https://devastatingdisasters.com/lake-okeechobee-hurricane-september-16-1928/. Accessed 27 Sept 2020.

McElreath, D. H., Doss, D. A., Jensen, C., Lackey, H., Jones, D. W., Wigginton, M., & Goza, R. (2017). Dangers from the sea: Considerations of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. International Journal of Maritime History29(3), 529-543.

Wang, L., & Ganapati, N. E. (2018). Disasters and social capital: exploring the impact of Hurricane Katrina on Gulf Coast Counties. Social Science Quarterly99(1), 296-312.