Over 50% of the 1,577 people who died were over the age of 74. According to the Office for Coastal Management, Hurricane Katrina was the most costly Hurricane of all time, with a price tag of $161 billon. In mid-September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. It was the 8thhurricane of the 2017 season. An African easterly wave formed around the 10thof September; an easterly wave is also known as a hurricane cradle, and “is a weak trough of low pressure developing from an organized cluster of thunderstorms” (“Easterly”, 2018, para. 2). By September 16th, a tropical depression formed and less than two hours later it was upgraded to tropical storm Maria. The very next day wind speeds reached 75 miles per hour and Hurricane Maria was in full steam, in less than18 hours Hurricane Maria went from a category 1 hurricane to a powerful, category 5 hurricane. The sea surface temperatures were over 82 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for intensifying the storm. Maria was on her way towards the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. On September 20th, Maria blew through the South of the Virgin Islands, and the eye of her storm was headed directly over Puerto Rico. The storm hit as a category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of 155 miles per hour. As Maria made her way over the entire island, torrential rain caused catastrophic flooding, in many areas 25 to 40 feet of rain and a 22 foot storm surge was recorded. The damage Maria caused was enormous, 95% of the cell towers had been destroyed, every tree was uprooted or left without 7WEATHER ANOMOLIES
foliage, freeways signs, city signs, power lines, roads and houses, all destroyed. The electrical grid that supplied service to all of Puerto Rice was completely destroyed, 3.4 million people were without power. Thirty rivers throughout Puerto Rico reached flood levels and thirteen reached their highest flood levels ever recorded. Hurricane Maria destroyed an entire island, it was the worst storm in ninety years. Over 4,600 people died and a price tag of $110 billion was the result of Maria. Hurricane Sandy started as a tropical wave on October 19, 2012, in just six hours it became a topical depression. Five days later Sandy had reached a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds at 75 miles per hour. Passing over Jamaica, still in a category 1 state, it made its way out to sea only to pick up more steam by the sea surface temperature levels. On October 29th, Sandy hit the Atlantic City, New Jersey with wind speeds of 80 miles per hour while making its way up the East Coast. The full moon made high tides 20% stronger than normal. “The full moon's tidal effects on Earth will amplify the storm's already large waves, making them a bigger flooding danger than normal” (Malik, 2012, para. 1).Though the wind speeds were not that of Katrina or Maria, Sandy’swrath hit from the extreme storm surge and large waves. At one point the storm surge in New York was 14 feet where it flooded subways and electrical systems and 8.5 million people were left without electricity in all areas. A record high wave of 33 feet was captured in the harbor of New York. Hurricane Sandy measured 2,000 miles wide, spanning almost the entire East coast.