Harvey, Irma, and Maria: The Deadly 2017 Hurricane Season

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Harvey, Irma, and Maria: The Deadly 2017 Hurricane Season

Esha Gourikrishna, Staff Writer

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The 2017 hurricane season has caused devastation throughout Texas, the Caribbean, and then Florida. With back to back hurricanes, this season has been an abnormal one with its severity. As Florida and Texas began to recuperate after Irma and Harvey, Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc throughout Puerto Rico. So, why are these hurricanes so deadly?

Simply put, hurricanes are fueled by heat and air pressure. Within the past two years, climate change has indicated that the Atlantic Ocean’s temperature grew approximately 2℉ and the sea level has increased by 70mm. This allowed Irma to form earlier and for longer. Now while the hurricane was eventually reduced to a category 3 hurricane rather than a category 5, its 130-185 mph winds were able to cause destruction throughout the Caribbean islands and Florida. According to meteorologists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who had been tracking the hurricanes, the rising sea levels in combination with the warmer oceans made Irma and Harvey far more destructive than they would have been in past decades.

“I donated during co-op and I hope we do another activity or incentive to raise funds for the victims of Maria. I feel like they have a lot of rebuilding to do, but little means to do so. It would be great to keep using our efforts towards all of those who were affected by this season of hurricanes!””

— Rylie Schurter

As for Hurricane Maria, it had been a category 5 hurricane for nearly three days with winds up to 160 miles per hour. Forecasters reported that Maria’s strength was garnered by the effects of climate change in combination with the system of Hurricane Irma. With three major devastating hurricanes this season, one can only suspect the fatal effects of hurricanes to come as the temperature of the oceans continue to rise. For now, a general consensus concludes that while climate change may not have been the reason for these storms, it has contributed to the catastrophic effects of it.

As Florida and Texas have begun recuperation following the devastation caused by Irma and Harvey respectively, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  has been addressing the immediate needs of survivors and provided funding for reconstruction. However, Puerto Rico has received little federal aid to cope with the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. With this in mind, it’s important to note that any attempt to help these victims will be immensely valuable. The students here at CLC have made a difference through raising money during co-op. For Hurricane Harvey, the students raised $421 towards reconstruction. Senior Rylie Schurter was one of those who contributed, commenting, “I donated during co-op and I hope we do another activity or incentive to raise funds for the victims of Maria. I feel like they have a lot of rebuilding to do, but little means to do so. It would be great to keep using our efforts towards all of those who were affected by this season of hurricanes!” For further contributions towards Hurricane Maria, you can visit http://dominicarelief.org/ to learn how to help.

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