MTN Chief Meteorologist Curtis Grevenitz was down in Florida for Hurricane Ian to help some of his family members in need. Ian was the fourth strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States and there are certain things we can learn and Curtis learned from being in the storm.
Catastrophic. Unfathomable damage and loss of life. Hurricane Ian hit Florida last week with 150 mph maximum sustained wind and has now claimed over 100 lives. The storm had immense power with a storm surge that reached 16 feet in some areas, washing away homes, beaches, businesses and even people. What made it worse was it crawled across the state at a mere 8 mph prolonging the torrent.
If you thought it could not get even worse, tornado warnings were numerous, and had Curtis’ grandmother scrambling to the innermost room. Millions lost power and 600,000 are still without it nearly a week later.
So what can we learn? Heed the evacuation warnings when given. Here in Montana evacuation orders are given with wildfires and flooding sometimes. Things can be replaced, lives cannot.
Preparation is paramount to surviving a natural disaster. Having food, water, medication, alternate sources of power, and even a generator will be worth their weight in gold.
Hurricane Ian knocked out power but also cell phone service. The only source of information was a battery-powered radio. We rode out the storm listening to local news and a good old fashion antenna radio, receiving vital information that many did not receive because all they had were cell phones.
The sunshine state has returned to its moniker, but it will be years before it returns to normal, and hopefully many, many years before another storm of such magnitude hits again.