Needless to say, this hurricane season has been pretty rough.
Most notably, storms Harvey, Irma, and Maria wreaked havoc not only on the mainland United States but on Puerto Rico, Central America, and the Caribbean islands as well. With entire islands and communities left under water or destroyed, the cleanup effort will last for months, if not years to come, but with about two months to go in the traditional hurricane season (it officially ends November 30), there is sadly still time for more destruction.
Over the weekend, Tropical Storm Nate is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. as a category one hurricane. As the Daily Mail reported, storm or hurricane watches have been issued in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, with a state of emergency declared in 29 Florida counties.
While officials are urging U.S. residents to “pay attention” to the warnings, the storm already moved through Central America earlier this week, triggering mudslides and flash flooding in countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica and killing at least 22. According to the Daily Mail, 11 people have been confirmed dead in Nicaragua, with seven others reported missing. The country’s vice president, Rosario Murillo, said thousands were forced to evacuate due to flooding.
In Coast Rica, meanwhile, eight people have died, including two children, as more than 7,000 people sought refuge in shelters due to the unrelenting rain. Widespread power outages were reported as emergency officials closed roads due to concerns over mudslides.
As USA Toady reported, the 2017 hurricane season has been one of the busiest and costliest on record. There have also been 46 “hurricane days”—tallied each time a hurricane spins for 24 hours somewhere in the Atlantic—this year, more than double the average.
“There is no question that this is already going to be one of the costliest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record,” said meteorologist Steve Bowen of global reinsurance firm Aon Benfield. “Regardless of where the final numbers settle, this season is one which will be remembered for a very long time.”
Continued prayers for people in the path of yet another storm, and if you’d like to help, visit Operation Blessing.