Hurricane Florence: Actions and Reactions: What’s Left

Rachel Gunders, Maroon-News Staff

Global warming clearly has a negative impact on weather patterns, and the recent Hurricane Florence is just another example. Relentless rain is flooding parts of North Carolina and the death toll is now over 30 as of the writing of this article. Florence arrived on shore last Friday, September 14, and has caused great devastation. Power outages have affected close to one million people accord- ing to CBS News. People are trapped in flooded homes, requiring rescue teams from out of state to join and help local emergency crews bring folks to safety.

Global warming has increased the number of destructive weather changes. Over the past 30 years, there has been a pattern of increasing climate temperatures across the world and, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the 10 hottest years on record have occurred after 1998. The cause of rising temperatures has been attributed to increasing heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere caused by burning coal, oil and gas. This is due to increased industrialization to generate electricity, fuel businesses and put more automobiles on the road. All these variables have caused the precipitous rise in global warming, as higher levels of water vapor in the atmosphere create more favorable conditions for heavier rain and storms. As the earth has continued to warm, the amount of precipitation has risen 20 percent in the United States. Many U.S. regions are now put at great risk by floods, which pose a risk to people, roads, bridges and buildings on floodplains.

A year after Hurricanes Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are still in a disastrous state. Democrats feel that President Trump has done a poor job in the past dealing with hurricanes and other natural disasters. For example, he was deeply criticized for various unsympathetic tweets and comments he made during the Puerto Rico disaster. This past week, President Trump was in meetings with emergency management officials. He attended numerous briefings to help with disaster planning and even canceled his campaign rallies in Missouri and Mississippi to tend to the disaster. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and federal employees have been proactively involved in helping provide resources. Various organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) are also working closely together to redraw flood maps in order to help assess vulnerable areas.

For the future, however, it is imperative that Congress and our administration adopt stricter regulations to help control emissions and find solutions to curtailing global warming. Trump has disregarded the importance of global warming and has failed to act responsibly by prioritizing this effort. He needs to focus on modifying infrastructure to withstand flooding conditions, adjusting agricultural patterns, as well as establishing more emergency planning in our homes. Congress needs to consider a national flood insurance program so that people and property are better protected from the detrimental impacts of climate change. Taxpayer dollars need to be spent wisely to help this matter immediately before our planet gets destroyed completely.

Contact Rachel Gunders at [email protected]