– Hurricanes

Swallowed by Water

Voices from the Future | Larry Baimbridge

eye of hurricane

Swallowed by Water

The Event: In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas, with sustained 130 mph winds, torrential rains and flooding. Thirty percent of Harris County, which has a population of 2.3 million people, was flooded. Eighty-two people lost their lives.

Police captain Larry Baimbridge and his wife, police officer Wendy Baimbridge, were at work when Hurricane Harvey hit on August 27. “I knew our house was flooding and our two dogs were home,” he says. “Luckily, our neighbors rescued the dogs that had stayed on the bed, when the water started to come inside. We were on a 24-hour shift and couldn’t leave.”

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The Hurricane Florence

Voices from the Future | Kolby Skidmore

hurricane from space

The Hurricane Florence

The Event: Hurricane Matthew was considered a 500-year flood, which means it had a 0.2% chance of happening in any given year. Hurricane Florence was deemed a 1,000-year flood and broke rainfall records set by Hurricane Matthew. Many residents of coastal North Carolina were still rebuilding from Matthew when Florence hit in September 2018, dumping more than 30 inches of water on some parts of the state and killing 53 people.

When the floodwater receded, it left behind scores of fish — not just on streets, but also in people’s homes. They were everywhere, and they reeked.

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The Island

Voices from the Future | Glorynel Ojeda Matos

hurricane winds

The Island

The Event: Maria began as a tropical wave. But by September 16, 2017, she had gathered steam, swirling into a tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles. From there, she roared. On September 20, Maria screamed over Puerto Rico with winds that reached 155 miles per hour, making her a category four hurricane, and one that would nearly decimate the island.

Glorynel Ojeda Matos is a scholar. A researcher. A student of sustainability. She’s also Puerto Rican. And when hurricanes ravaged her island home in the fall of 2017, she knew it would never be the same.

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In the Eye of the Hurricane

Voices from the Future | Dave Mackey

eye of hurricane

In the Eye of the Hurricane

The Event: Hurricane Dorian slammed into Grand Bahama Island on September 1, 2019, with 200 mph winds. The storm and its torrential rains stalled over the island for more than 40 hours and wreaked havoc across residential areas as water levels rose 18 to 23 feet above normal. Seventy people lost their lives, and property damages were estimated at about $8.28 billion.

From where he sat in his two-story home on the tropical island of Grand Bahama, Dave Mackey, the president and visual producer of an online news site, was well prepared for the storm. So from there, he recorded the category-five hurricane as it pounded his home island, battering homes and trees and tossing around objects, like shipping containers, as though they were little toys.

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When Irma Knocked

Voices From the Future | Tom and Lynda Ciano

hurricane winds blowing plam trees

When Irma Knocked

The Event:A tropical wave was born somewhere over west Africa on August 26, 2017. In the coming days, it gathered strength from the warm Atlantic waters. The wave eventually became a hurricane, hurricane Irma. Irma grew into an expansive category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour at its peak. It slammed into Cudjoe Key, Florida, on the morning of September 10, as a category 4.

For Lynda and Tom Ciano, Irma’s full-throated arrival at their home in central Florida was unexpected. Forecasters predicted the storm would hug the state’s west coast. But the storm shifted track. Continue reading