Posts Tagged ‘Tropical Storm Nicole’

Tropical Storm Nicole Wreaks Havoc

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Nicole's Path

Tropical Storm Nicole’s remnants are wreaking havoc on the East Coast. Right now I am listening to the sounds of 45 mph winds outside my home as rain beats down on the windows. According to the meteorologists, this is just the beginning. Tens of millions of people reside in the projected path of the storm. Flash flood warnings have been issued for every state from the Carolinas to Maine. Indeed, Nicole’s rain and winds have already exceeded the record set by Hurricane Floyd in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the city has received nearly two feet of rain this week.  Floods are actually very common hazards, but as 30% of the communities that flood in any given year have never before flooded, residents are often unprepared.

Flood warnings are of particular concern in this economy. The states’ budget deficits have resulted in underfunded disaster mitigation and relief programs. And households and businesses often cut their insurance protection to save premium expenses. I remember the news reports of families in Rhode Island that had terminated their homeowners and other insurance when their mortgages were paid. Apparently they had only purchased insurance to comply with their banks’ lending requirements. Sadly when the epic floods struck Rhode Island this spring, they had no protection. Those of us in the East Coast should make appropriate plans. I have done all of my grocery shopping and errands and plan to work from home for the next few days.

This interactive graphic shows the projected path of Tropical Storm Nicole and various deviations as the impacts of the storm move across the northward trajectory. As you can see, it is not just the direct coastal areas that are affected as the rain and winds will move inland.