Hurricanes_II_Notes

Hurricanes_II_Notes - 1 2 The hurricane seasons of 2004...

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The hurricane seasons of 2004 (Charley, Ivan, Frances, and Jeanne), 2005 (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma), and 2008 (Ike and Gustav) were record breaking in terms of costs, fatalities, and intensity. Much of these losses can be attributed to intense development of coastal areas in recent years and insufficient mitigation (e.g. building codes and/or their enforcement, land use planning). 3
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The history of the track, the intensity of the storm and some of its impacts are not fully known due to the time period, in which the storm occurred. Most information is of archival (e.g. newspapers) and anecdotal nature. Prior to the devastating storm, a seawall embankment had been proposed but was never built. This notion of a need for structural protection originated from prior, deadly hurricane events that had impacted other coastal cities in Texas. However, the seawall was not built until after the hurricane. 4
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This hurricane was the deadliest weather disaster in United States history. Galveston Island is located off the coast of Houston, TX. It is highly susceptible to hurricanes due to its exposed location as a barrier island, its low elevation, and development/population. 6
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In 1900 there were no weather satellites and no Doppler radar. However, warnings were issue by the U.S. Weather Bureau, the predecessor of NOAA's National Weather Service. People were advised to seek higher ground. The book “Isaac’s Storm” traces the storm and the causes of (un-)preparedness by Galvestonians. The book is written from the perspective of Isaac Cline, the local U.S. weather bureau officer and largely questions the role of Isaac Cline and how much people were actually warned about the storm. Listen to the excerpt from Eric Larson’s book called “Isaac’s Storm” on the Random House, Inc. website =search). Excerpt is about 3 min. long. 7
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In the early 1900s, Galveston was a booming port city with a flourishing trade business due to its natural harbor of Galveston Bay. With a population of approximately 40,000 people, Galveston was the largest city in Texas. During the storm, Galveston experienced a storm surge of about 15 ft – remember average elevation of the island was about 5 ft at that time. 8
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The most tragic story of the Galveston Hurricane is the perishing of the 10 Sisters and 90 children of the St. Mary’s Orphan Asylum. Today, a historic marker indicates the location of the asylum, which is now Seawall Blvd. The two buildings of the asylum collapsed and only three people survived. Many of the children and Sisters were found dead - connected to each other with clotheslines. For more information see http://www.1900storm.com/orphanage.lasso 9
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off the tracks and many people perished. 11
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2010 for the course DSM 2000 taught by Professor Romolo during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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Hurricanes_II_Notes - 1 2 The hurricane seasons of 2004...

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