Hurricanes Florence and Michael leave lasting effects

It has been an eventful hurricane season for the U.S. East coast. Hurricanes Michael and Florence have greatly impacted millions of Americans as the summer reached its end. North Carolina and the Florida Panhandle were hit the hardest by these powerful storms. Combined, the hurricanes have caused 92 fatalities; 53 from Florence and 39 from Michael.

Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina as a category one. There was fear it would be a category four, but it weakened before hitting the coast. Even with a lower intensity, there was still massive wind damage and even more devastating flooding.

The carnage Florence left behind as a mere category one would have been multiplied had it hit as a category four.  The death toll of Florence was likely higher due to the high flooding. Especially in North Carolina, effects of the aftermath are still begin felt.

Hurricane Michael collided with Mexico Beach as a category four, wreaking devastation as it traveled further inland according to Huffington Post. Arriving in Florida as a category 3, it continued up the East coast leaving over a million people without power and no set date for the reopening of schools, according to Huffington Post. By the time it hit Virginia, Michael had weakened to a tropical storm according to Business Insider.

According to Washington Post, Michael left five people dead in Virginia before heading offshore and dissipating. In the aftermath, fallen trees and other forms of debris blocked and cluttered streets for a week or more.

Virginia and Regent University were spared the brunt of hurricane season. In the past, Virginia has often avoided storms such as these.
This luck causes locals to put their guard down. Someday, there could be a hurricane like Florence or Michael and Virginia might not be so lucky. With rising sea levels, the flood risk for coastal areas in Virginia increases. It is more important than ever to be prepared for disasters such as these and be willing to evacuate.

Since Virginia has been largely spared from the devastation, it would be prudent to consider offering assistance and prayer to those who found themselves in the path of these storms. The American Red Cross Association is a trusted source for donations towards hurricane relief. Here are a few items to consider praying for:

  • Pray for the safety of those who were affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael as they continue to rebuild.
  • Pray for the speed, wisdom, and effectiveness of the volunteers providing vital supplies to those in dire need.
  • Pray for the families who have lost loved ones and that many would discover the hope of the gospel and the love of the Father even through these crises.
  • Pray for the Regent students who have loved ones and friends affected by these hurricanes.

Kathryn Dodl is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.