General Overview Of Hurricane Wilma

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Throughout history it is shown that hurricanes are one of the deadliest natural disasters known to man, as they have left houses in ruins, caused people to become disabled, or worse, dead. While the west coast focuses more on tornadoes and volcanoes, the east zeros in on the hurricanes that can lead to much more detrimental effects. With winds that can reach up to 157 miles per hour and raging walls of water surging toward the surface of the east earth, the injuries and prices rise, leaving some countries in debt and despair (How Do Hurricanes Form). Although there have been an innumerable number of hurricanes to hit the United States of America, the most catastrophic was Hurricane Wilma (NULL). This can be proved from the cataclysmic effects it had on the people, the environment, and the land. Hurricane Wilma was the most devastating hurricanes to hit the USA, and after looking at the course of the natural event, the effects on the birds living in the area, and the other deleterious effects on the countries affected, this statement can be proved to be true.

Although hurricanes can have many different names such as a cyclone or a typhoon, they do have one thing in common, how they are formed. Hurricanes “form only over warm ocean waters near the equator,” then the “warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward from near the surface” (How Do Hurricanes form). As a result, there is now split air pressures in the atmosphere, as there is high air pressure towards the sky and low surfacing the ocean (How Do Hurricane Form). As the two air pressures rise and mix in a spiral rotation, clouds begin to form, creating a hurricane (How Do Hurricanes Form). Hurricanes are placed into categories based on how strong their winds are. Hurricane Wilma, which occurred on October fifteenth and lasted until October twenty-seventh 2005, surpassed the highest-ranking winds for a hurricane, with gales of 173 miles per hour, which means it was placed in a category five hurricane with winds averaging up to 157 miles per hour (NULL). Unlike most hurricanes, Wilma destroyed many countries including Jamaica, Cuba, the USA, the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico (US Department). Starting over by Jamaica, it hurled its way all the way to the top of the US, but what type of damage did this hurricane really have?

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As this is the most destructive hurricane to have formed in the Atlantic Ocean, the damages are immense. One major event that affected the environmental aspect of things were the migration of the birds during this time. When a hurricane hits, most birds wither try to fly away, which then just leads to them losing all their energy and the fat they’ve stored up becomes depleted (Out My Backdoor). Because of their loss of energy, they end up dying from exhaustion (Out My Backdoor). On the other hand, sometimes, the birds are able to land on a boat or a small island, which eventually leaves them dead as there is not the right resources needed for the birds to survive (Out My Backdoor). For Hurricane Wilma, however, “thousands of migrated birds were carried by the storms strong winds northward into northeastern Canada and western Europe” (Out My Backdoor). A bird greatly affected by this hurricane are called chimney swifts; as their population decreased by fifty percent in Quebec, Canada (Out My Backdoor). Not only were the effects on the birds immense, but the impacts of the country’s land were effected vastly.

The end results from the hurricane left the people devastated. After the twelve-day natural disaster, the damages, in total, cost twenty-nine billion dollars (NULL). The wind damage “scattered trees and numerous large branches” in the Florida Keys which tore apart shingles off houses, exterior wall coverings, and knocked down multiple transmission towers, causing many power outages (US Department). Along with the vegetation looking scorched for several months on end, it became a record-breaking dry season; it was so bad that some vegetation failed to grow in the following spring (US Department). Not only did the strong and harsh winds successfully destroy the Florida Keys, the storm surges added onto the destruction of Hurricane Wilma. A storm surge is the rising of the ocean waters due to the atmospheric pressure (NULL). These storm surges bring immense flooding which means houses, buildings, and cars were flooded or completely destroyed after the hurricane (US Department). Along with the winds and the storm surges, another component was added into the mix: erosion. The beaches were eroded everywhere were the hurricanes crashed onto the surface. As a bunch of sand piled up on the roads, traffic occurred. In order to fix this, people in Floria Keys shut down the highways for three weeks and waited for crews to come and pick up the tons of sand off the road (US Department). Luckily, through all of this ruination, only twenty-three deaths occurred, “half of which occurred in Haiti due to mudslides” (NULL). Although these deaths should still be mourned, it is a big deal that not many people died due to this horrific natural disaster.

Hurricane Wilma impacted many countries expanding from Jamaica to Canada. In situations like this, people need to be prepared for anything that may happen during a hurricane such as this. Luckily, there is NASA to help dictate when and where a hurricane is going to occur. Sending out evacuations to the areas that will be affected is very important as it can save many lives. Hurricanes have the biggest impact than any other natural disaster as they create storm surges, strong winds, tornadoes, and beach erosion. Hurricane Wilma was the strongest hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean that still affects families today because of the path it took to destroy the vast countries of Central America and the USA, the effects on the animal life, and the effects on the land area impacted.


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