Hurricanes result from the rotation of low-pressure weathers that form thunderstorms without fronts. The scientific name for hurricanes is tropical cyclone. Hurricanes are considered as the only tropical cyclones that form over the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The pressure of tropical cyclones usually reduces after it hits land because of the lack of energy from the warm ocean waters. However, their effects are usually felt through the inches of rain and wind damage that they on the mainland. This essay is based on Hurricane Ivan and the effects it had on people and the economy.
Hurricane Ivan was a category 3 storm that reached category 5 three times before it weakened. It originated from a tropical wave on August 31, 2004, and lasted until September 23. It made its first landfall as a category 3 hurricane on September 5 and weakened the next day, only to regain its strength afterward after passing south-southwest, Grenada (CNN Library, 2018). It entered the Caribbean Sea and its intensity continued to increase to winds of 257 km/h., making it a category 5 status. By September 15, Hurricane Ivan had reached west of Grand Cayman as a category 5 hurricane. As it passed the Island, the hurricane caused a ten feet storm surge that nearly submerged the entire Island. Hurricane Ivan made its final landfall in southwest Louisiana on September 23 before dissipating completely the following day (FEMA, 2016). The major effects of the hurricane were felt throughout the month of September.
Damages and Death Toll
The death toll attributed to the events of Hurricane Ivan was 67 people in the Caribbean, 17 Jamaicans, and 39 people in Grenada. Hurricane Ivan caused extensive damage. In Alabama, a 14-inch storm led to the destruction of many buildings. All the structures that were located on Perdido Key, near Pensacola were completely destroyed by the storm. Some of the roads near Pensacola were closed until the end of 2007 due to the damage caused by the storm. An approximation of a 400 m section of the Interstate 10 Bridge on Escambia Bay was also destroyed (Hurricanes, 2015). Thousands of home were destroyed.
Hurricane Ivan was one of the worst hurricanes to hit the US. It had an estimated cost of between $18 to 26 billion in damages. During the cleanup, some of the debris collected in Alabama were as high as 70 feet and three-quarter of a mile. The victims of Hurricane Ivan felt approximately $33.9 million damage related to the loss of power plants and distribution of electricity (Hurricanes, 2015). The water supply and waste disposal system in the affected areas failed due to the damage caused by the storm surge.
In 2004, after Hurricane Ivan, the Central Government’s fiscal position deteriorated by 4.5% from an overspill of $17 million to a deficit of $54 million of the country’s GDP. This reflected a revenue fall that affected international trade and local businesses in the affected areas. Increase in capital expenditure related to reconstruction and rehabilitation was projected to reach 12% of the country’s GDP. Aside from the direct costs associated with the Hurricane, additional economic effects were also related to the reduction in tourism and agricultural activities (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, 2004). These factors also contributed to the stagnation of the economy in the years that followed.
Effects on Earth
Rainfall from the weather system contributed to the flooding of the Delaware River. It also caused rivers located along the entire eastern part of the US to swell. The fragments of Hurricane Ivan also affected areas that had been flooded previously by Hurricane Frances. A debris flow consisting of mud, water, rocks, trees, and sewage waste moved down a creek sweeping approximately fifteen houses and killing five people. Other effects that the hurricane caused included 115 tornadoes in the United States, with 40 of them happening in Virginia (Hurricanes, 2015). Based on the statistics conducted on the land before and after Hurricane Ivan, approximately 44 percent of the forest near the State Park Gulf were destroyed by the storm. In low-lying areas, about 50 percent of trees were destroyed while those located at higher elevations suffered less than 50 percent tree mortality. The vegetation in the coastal region of Alabama was also destroyed by the rains (Bianchette, Liu, Lam, & Kiage, 2009). The weather system drastically changed due to Hurricane Ivan. Some of the permanent consequences of Hurricane Ivan include the erosion of the beach, which affected tourism activities. Other permanent effects include the traumatic experience that the victims went through, injuries incurred and the loss of loved ones.
Hurricanes and other natural disasters have a great impact on the lives of those affected. Most of the affected individuals were forced to relocate to other regions. Hurricane Ivan was one of the most costly hurricanes experienced by the U.S. In total, Hurricane Ivan resulted in the death of 123 people and approximately $18 billion in damages. Most of the people affected by the hurricane were forced to relocate their homes. They also faced the effects of post-traumatic stress. There is a need for rehabilitation and reconstruction plans to address both the physical and emotional effects that victims endure after a hurricane.
Bianchette, T., Liu, K. B., Lam, N. S., & Kiage, L. M. (2009). Ecological impacts of Hurricane Ivan on the Gulf Coast of Alabama: A remote sensing study. Journal of coastal research, 1622-1625. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262223981_Ecological_impacts_of_Hurricane_Ivan_on_the_Gulf_Coast_of_Alabama_A_remote_sensing_study. Retrieved from Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262223981_Ecological_impacts_of_Hurricane_Ivan_on_the_Gulf_Coast_of_Alabama_A_remote_sensing_study
CNN Library. (2018, August 31). Hurricane statistics fast facts. Retrieved from CNN Library: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/31/world/americas/hurricane-statistics-fast-facts/index.html
FEMA. (2016, August 15). Hurricane Ivan overview. Retrieved from FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-ivan-overview
Hurricanes. (2015). 2004-Hurricane Ivan. Retrieved from Hurricanes: Science and Society: http://www.hurricanescience.org/history/storms/2000s/hurricaneivan/
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. (2004, September 7). Grenada: Macro-socio-economic assessment of the damages caused by Hurricane Ivan. Retrieved from Reliefweb: https://reliefweb.int/report/grenada/grenada-macro-socio-economic-assessment-damages-caused-hurricane-ivan