Friends and family in the path of Hurricane Irma are well-informed of its danger and preparing for the worst this weekend.
Walt Disney World, where our daughter works, closes tonight at 9 p.m. until sometime Monday, presumably Irma’s schedule as well.
She is working today then hunkering down with supplies of water and shelf-stable food should the electrical grid fail. The open question is how much rain and wind will pelt central Florida.
“It’s not a question of if Florida’s going to be impacted, it’s a question of how bad Florida’s going to be impacted,” William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Friday, according to the Washington Post.
Irma maintained wind speeds of over 185 miles per hour for more than a day, the first storm in the world to do so.
Since 2007 I visited Florida several times. Each time people I met at the auto shop, convenience stores, retail outlets and elsewhere spoke of Hurricane Andrew and how it changed their lives. Floridians know hurricanes well. Surviving Irma is the focus for the next three days.
Environmental Protection Administrator Scott Pruitt commented about the link between Irma and global warming:
“Here’s the issue,” Pruitt told CNN Thursday in a phone interview. “To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced. What we need to focus on is access to clean water, addressing these areas of superfund activities that may cause an attack on water, these issues of access to fuel. … Those are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there’s the… place (and time) to do that, it’s not now.”
The upshot is in a backhanded way, Pruitt acknowledges the need to evaluate causation of large tropical storms. I’m confident facts will lead him to how global warming made Irma and other recent tropical storms worse. I may be overly optimistic but the truth matters.
Our household will be following the progress of Irma as it makes landfall in Florida and over the next 48 hours. Hoping the people of Florida withstand the death, destruction and economic consequences of this next in a series of major storms. I expect Floridians will be resilient as this is not their first hurricane rodeo. I trust our daughter will do what’s needed to weather the storm.