6 Reasons Why Hurricane Irma Could Be "The Natural Disaster Of Our Time"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Sarah Burris via RawStory.com,

Hurricane Harvey was a tragic nightmare that hit the Texas shores with force and then lingered for days, dumping truck-loads of rain on a city ill-equipped to handle it. Florida is next, and if predictions are accurate, Hurricane Irma is going to be far worse than Houston was, and worse than anyone has prepared for.

Already, Irma is setting records and being named the strongest storm the Atlantic Ocean has seen on record. Here is a short list of things meteorologists and experts at the Hurricane Center have already seen from Irma that should give everyone pause.

1. The wind speeds broke the measuring tool.

The wind was so strong when Irma passed over Barbuda that the monitoring equipment used to measure the wind was damaged and couldn’t report an accurate account of the wind speed. It tapped out at 151 mph.

2. The prospect of 185mph wind should strike fear into our hearts.

The gusts for the Category 5 storm have reached 185 mph. That’s the equivalent of an EF4 tornado sitting on an area, nonstop for hours. To put that into perspective, the photo below is of the damage sustained by residents of Garland/Rowlett, Texas after an EF4 tornado blew through in 2015.

Damage in a residential area as a result of the EF4 Garland/Rowlett, Texas tornado. (Photo: Wikipedia)

To make matters worse, NOAA’s tools dropped into the hurricane to measure the storm and recorded 226mph gusts from its northeast eyewall.


3. No one has heard from the tiny island it hit in hours.

Barbuda is a tiny island with barely over 1,000 residents. The top elevation on the island is 125 feet above sea level. Storm surges, however, predict waves will reach seven to 11 feet in the Northern Leeward Islands. That was worse for Turks and Caicos, which is expected to see 15- to 20-foot storm surges. As long as the surges are under 10 feet, Barbuda will be fine, but storm surges like those expected for Turks and Caicos would destroy the island.

Already, what scientists have seen from Barbuda is leaving them speechless. Tide sensors in Barbuda recently reported 7.89 feet above what the average height of the top tide is each day.

“I am at a complete and utter loss for words looking at Irma’s appearance on satellite imagery,” tweeted Taylor Trogdon, of the National Hurricane Center‏.


4. Irma ripped grass from its roots.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers reported that there were parts of Bermuda that saw vegetation ripped from the soil, the winds were so strong. The claim hasn’t been reported by other outlets and there are no photos or video yet that show the full extent of the damage.

5. Miami isn’t prepared — no one is.

Florida is as good as it gets at handling hurricanes, similar to states that are accustomed to navigating tornadoes or weathering earthquakes. Florida citizens know how to prepare for a storm. However, the strength of Irma seems to dwarf more recent hurricanes.

Already, the city of Miami is being forced to raise its roads to accommodate rising waters creeping into the city. A report from The Atlantic notes that the last major hurricane to hit Miami was in 1926 and 400 people were killed. Back then, the city boasted 100,000 residents, but today the population is more like 6 million.

Disaster planners have long been concerned about a natural event of this magnitude hitting a major U.S. city. If Irma turns toward Florida, this could be the horrific event they’ve feared. 

“It won’t survive,” said former top emergency manager Craig Fugate in 2014.

6. President Donald Trump only barely understands the crisis.

During a meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders, Trump acted as if he had special insider information on the severity of Hurricane Irma. All he could manage to tell them was it is “not good.”

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mazzy's picture

Florida already needs to be rebuilt.

east of eden's picture

Can you imagine how many snake and aligators are going to be swimming around in the downtown area, busienss and peoples homes? Those would be boa constrictors and likely a very good number of vipers.

Ah well, the country with the greatest number of 2 legged vipers, meets the real ones.

Film at 11.

NoDebt's picture

"President Donald Trump only barely understands the crisis"

How the hell does the author know what the president does or does not understand about an event that hasn't happened yet?  I also like the story about the grass ripped up by it's roots due to the winds being so strong (by CNN).  There's another piece of sensationalism that's probably going to be proven dead wrong or outright fabricated.  


stacking12321's picture

i'm flying to miami in a couple weeks, that should be fun

and there's 2 more hurricanes coming after irma ... jose, and katia

Jimmy Jimmereeno's picture

You have no factual information to contribute to a putative "...there's 2 more hurricanes coming after irma..." with regards to actual hurricane formation or projected probable storm track.  Yet here you are, just another ignoramus shooting his mouth off.

stacking12321's picture

I didn't realize what a meticulous gatherer you are of "factual information".
Please forgive my transgression in not appending relevant weather data and storm track projections to my post.

vato poco's picture

naw, the heck with that. HE'S the asshole in the equation here, so don't bother to be nice: tell him to go eat a bag of dicks. 

this is ZH, not nursery school

wildbad's picture

Really nice pro-forma dig at Trump in the last paragraph.

Talk about talking about not knowing what the flog you're talking about.

bluez's picture

See. It's global warming!

Al Gore was right again. That's why he gets all the pretty girls.

And yes, they are more than just pretty with their clothes off.

Jealous huh?

bluez's picture

I'm only trolling you idiots because "global warming" is the only thing that gets you really all hot!

(Sexy bare naked women are not interesting.)

Amicus Curiae's picture

katy or whatever is formed IN the gulf

the other one Jamie? is very visible behind irma



you owe stacking an apology!



zorba THE GREEK's picture

You know, with all this hype that when it finally nears Florida, it is going to turn north-east and go out to sea leaving the U.S. unscathed. And Jose behind it will go into Gulf and hit Texas again. 

3LockBox's picture

Something fishy is going on...Fires and hurricanes sprouting up everywhere.

Almost like a sneak attack.

algol_dog's picture

It's all because of that eclipse last month. We are doomed ....

- I should write for Zero Hedge 

Jimbeau's picture

a sneak attack or maybe a HAARP attack...

Whatta's picture

another asshat taking whatever feeble swipe they can at Trump. Amazing how few understand he may be our last chance before "they" completely take over.


kbohip's picture

I read that and thought Hey bitch, Trump isn't a meteorologist!  He's got his hands full enough not having to placate millenials minds.

dogismycopilot's picture

See, just when I get pissed off at Trump for fucking us over (Russia,Afghanistan, GS) then some dickhead reporter reminds me of why I voted for him. 


charlewar's picture

laughable that the CNN story said it's meteorologist was in BERMUDA....either cnn daft or zh ..or both for that apparent typo!

NoDebt's picture

johngaltfla explains this in hilarious sarcastic fashion in his post, below.  (Hint: Bermuda is not anywhere even close to this hurricane.)


NoDebt's picture

You're welcome.  I'm no Trump fanboy but this kind of ridiculous pot-shot at him is just horseshit.  

Donate Moar's picture

The author:


"Covers:  intersection of pop culture and politics, campaigns, GOP hypocrisy, women's rights, domestic violence, millennials, young voters "

And suddenly is an expert on Hurricanes (AKA: HERicanes.)

USofAzzDownWeGo's picture

You mean the Bermese Python? The snakes that are getting so big they eat big alligators? They are rapidly growing there and have become a major problem no one knows what to do. They reward people with money if they kill one. 

BuddyEffed's picture

And sharks. The Bermuda Triangle just went mobile.

Wheresthesolutions's picture

Humanity's social system needs to be rebuilt too.

Enceladus's picture

After being ripped out by the roots 

Mazzy's picture

I mean, it's kind of a shithole.  Even residents have to admit this. 

Who wants to live in a land full of constant heat, humidity, mosquitoes, endless druggies, hobos, drifters, every scammer or scumbag imaginable and probably more pedophiles per capita than the rest of the nation combined?

But y'all will defend your Florida trash come hell or high water (pun intended).

Haitian Snackout's picture

It wasn't like that back in the 60's. It was a very charming and safe place. At least I saw it before it was ruined. 

Friedrich not Salma's picture

Those are harsh words. Where do you live? Let me guess, you wont tell.

Paul Kersey's picture

I own beach houses that I built and I rent out on the NC coast. I have no flood insurance. My deductibles on my regular insurance are so high, that it will take me years to make up for the potential losses Irma could bring.

We've already got gas station lines because of Harvey, and folks are hoarding water and gas in cans. The last time we had a powerful hurricane like this one (Fran), there was no electricity for nine days. We've had over ten extra inches of rain this year, so, with the soaked ground, trees will be ripped out by the roots, everywhere.

FEMA flood insurance premiums, if FEMA survives, will be going through roof, and mortgage debtors will either pay those premiums, or they will be in default of their loans. The U.S., with its third world airports, crumbling bridges and aging nuclear power plants, desperately needs new infrastructure, but with these two storms, alone, all the money will be going to trying to put Humpty back together again. And by the way, anyone who understands ergodicity knows that there could be another devastating hurricane in another two weeks.

Times like this have me wishing that I lived in flyover country. I always liked Manhattan, Kansas.

Squid Viscous's picture

nine days without electric! oh my god!!

but you're still building and renting to the benny's, as we used to call them in NJ

what's your point ?  ergodicity? lol, you sound like a Bernie Sanders pussy

jacking the rent for some poor schmucks who just want a week at the beach.

and then complaining about your utility and insurance bills.

almost jew like...

so fuck off

Mazzy's picture

And he himself doesn't even pay to insure HIS OWN PROPERTY, but will gladly accept, even demand a taxpayer provided bailout.  Yeah, isn't that wonderful: demanding the taxpayer bail out your business so you can use it and make money off it again?

Squid Viscous's picture

xactly ... what a whining faggot

but i BUILT these houses!! in the most hurricane prone state in the US!

now there'sa cat 4-5 looming...


Paul Kersey's picture

Squid, why are you sending time commenting here, when you could be doing something constructive, like bleaching your wife's mustache and waxing the hair on her back?

Squid Viscous's picture

why are you whining about a hurricane MAYBE coming to NC?

happens quite alot.

FoggyWorld's picture

People who don't pay into NFIP get zero and that same payout is what second home owners get.   The big chunks of FEMA money go to State, county and local politicans in good part to restore publicly owned infrastructure.  A weak point though is that FEMA doesn't audit that extraordinary amount of money and hires next to no accountants.  That should be changed.  And it is currently capped at $250K for a totally demolished house.  That amount will no doubt have to go down now but it in now way paid to replace most of the lost houses.

The only housing that was built out of that money was Section 8 poor people's housing which none of the homeowners who needed help qualified for. Not sure if that was an Obama touch or if that will show up again in Houston and Florida.   It makes it hard on the community because now we have to pay higher property taxes to provide services for the newcomers and they are services we never had for ourselves.  Adds to the overall financial stress. 

What is offered are government loans that have so many hooks in them that people here have stood on their heads not to take that route.  The major but not only bad feature is the government - not the homeowner - gets to choose the rebuilding/repair contractor.   They sure came up with doozys who too often seemed close to unskilled.


Paul Kersey's picture

"jacking the rent for some poor schmucks who just want a week at the beach."

I have yet to raise my rents, but my property taxes, thanks to the latest bond that passed, are up 34%.

"as we used to call them in NJ"

Squid, any local boy down here could read your post and guess immediately that you are from Joisey. NJ is the perfect place for you. Don't think about coming down here. You'd hate it. There are no folks wearing black leather jackets, gold chains and pointed boots with Cuban heels, and you'd complain about the bread. The south is no place for a Nicky Newark.

Squid Viscous's picture

sounds like you have some repressed gay/mommy issues. Cuban heels? lol...see a shrink.

and i'm not from NJ it's a hell hole,

Paul Kersey's picture

You probably know a lot about hell holes, because, in all likelihood, you came out of one the day you were hatched. Did your mommy (or your two dads) have any kids that lived?

Squid Viscous's picture

why so angry bro?

you "build houses" and talk like a 7 year old when you get mad, 


I live in Wilmington NC now, excited to pay you a visit.

let me know when is good



Squid Viscous's picture

lol, for tax purposes only

no ... NC, where are your beautiful properties?

perhaps for a rental?

we started on a bad note, totally my fault and I apologize,





Paul Kersey's picture

From Chocowinity, NC to St. Simons Island, Ga.

Squid Viscous's picture

most of it is, let's face it

BarkingCat's picture

Correct. Not a hell hole.

Shit hole is more accurate.