Hurricane Harvey has proven to be one of the most destructive natural disasters in US history, as USA Today reported.
Unfortunately, things may soon become worse according to Independent Journal Review. According to weather officials, Hurricane Irma is brewing in the Atlantic and may be ready to strike as soon as next week.
An article on Weather.com reports that Irma has already grown into a Category 3 hurricane as of Thursday morning. Wind speeds of 115 mph have already been recorded. The storm is currently located west of the Cabo Verde Islands and is traveling west-northwest at a speed of 10 mph.
One meteorologist, Ryan Maue, said on Twitter that he expects Hurricane Irma to reach Category 5, posting a picture of the potential paths it could take “Major Hurricane Irma now… I’d be surprised if storm didn’t become Cat 5 during next 5-7 days. Many EPS ensembles are very intense.”
Sara Gurkin, a representative for Dr. Rick Knabb from The Weather Channel, noted that now is a good time to prepare for Hurricane Irma. “As we reach the midpoint of the hurricane season and with Hurricane Irma intensifying over the eastern tropical Atlantic, this is a good time for all of us to make some ‘halftime adjustments’.”
She recommended a number of things to do to prepare for a potential hurricane. “Find out your evacuation route today, go shopping now to restock supplies, and do everything you can to strengthen your home.”
Gurkin also stated that while the hurricane isn’t expected to hit the US, it’s not off the table either. “Hurricane Irma is expected to become a major hurricane and threatens to affect portions of the Caribbean next week, and then we cannot rule out eventual impacts in the continental U.S.”
A new hurricane, or even resulting storms striking the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, would spell disaster. According to USA Today, Houston is just beginning to see a return to normalcy after much of the flood waters have finally receded.
As firefighters and volunteers make door-to-door searches for survivors or bodies, reports are projecting that at least 39 people have died from Hurricane Harvey, with 25 of them being in the Houston area alone.
Governor Greg Abbot (R-TX) said it will be years for the area to recover “This is going to be a massive, massive cleanup process. People need to understand this is not going to be a short-term project. This is going to be a multi-year project for Texas to be able to dig out of this catastrophe.”
If a second massive hurricane or intense storms were to strike this area in a week, it would create further chaos for the Texans already starting clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
Gurkin warns that Hurricane Irma may not be the last storm, as it’s still the middle of what was predicted to be an active hurricane season. “This is the reality of what we contend with during the peak of the season, one that has been forecast to be very active and with three more months to go. We cannot control hurricanes, but we can control our own outcomes by preparing now.”
Hopefully, officials in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey will have learned valuable lessons on how to more efficiently evacuate citizens and better prepare should Hurricane Irma prove to be a threat.