• Ally Rau

Decade in Review: Natural Disasters

In the past decade, natural disasters around the United States have progressively become worse. From extreme temperatures to earthquakes and hurricanes, the weather is less predictable. “Yes, I think the weather has gotten worse,” Lauren Johnson (11) stated.

In 2010, the United States experienced earthquakes in both Southern California and New York. In New York, the earthquake had a magnitude of 3.9 and was the first one they'd experienced in over 18 years. Wisconsin and Illinois had rare tornadoes hit. Live Science reports that they had tornados touch down in November, which had not happened in the past 39 years.

In 2011, the southern, central and eastern states were affected by multiple tornados. The largest tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. According to The Balance, the total cost of the damage was around $3.2 billion, it was the deadliest tornado since 1950.

2012 had many natural disasters, from hurricanes to extreme heat and wildfires. At the end of October into the beginning of November, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. It was the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic during 2012. It became one of the most expensive hurricanes to hit the US, costing almost $70 billion.

A massive heat wave went through the US during 2012, with high temperatures reaching 113 degrees in Kansas and up to 126 degrees in California. California was also affected with wildfires that burned around 870,000 acres of land.

In 2013, there were more strong tornadoes. A massive tornado went through Oklahoma that took two elementary schools with it and damaged many homes. Many children passed away during the incident.

In 2014, not many natural disasters took place in the US. USA Today reports that there was some flooding in New York, Arizona, California, and Michigan; it was an overall calm year for natural disasters.

2015 experienced major flooding in Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Many homes and buildings were washed away from all of the rain. There were also many wildfires that were caused by a drought that went from California to Montana. ABC News reported that over 70 fires broke out, and many had to evacuate their homes.

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit Florida along with North and South Carolina. In August, Louisiana had historical flooding. It rained over 20 inches of rain in three days.

2017 had three major hurricanes that caused a lot of damage. Hurricane Maria,Irma, and Harvey. Hurricane Maria was one of the deadliest natural disasters in the Atlantic since 1988. Hurricane Irma hit Florida and was extremely powerful. Hurricane Irma took place at the beginning of September and Hurricane Maria took place two weeks later. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and created major flooding that left many stranded. These are some of the strongest and most expensive hurricanes that we have ever seen.

In 2018, another hurricane hit the US, hurricane Florence. Hurricane Florence hit North and South Carolina. Then Hurricane Michael hit Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. This hurricane was a category five. In California, they had the deadliest wildfire in history according to ABC News. The fire swept through most of the state and took hundreds of thousands of acres with it.

2019 in late January record low temperatures were in the midwest. Temperatures dropped all the way to 40 to 65 degrees below zero. There was a 100 degree difference in some of the US.

In the past ten years we have had many different natural disasters that keep on getting stronger each year. There are stronger hurricanes that cause more disasters. Flooding is getting stronger and it happens more often. Wildfires are getting out of control, which causes more damage. “Last school year we had a whole extra week off of school due to the cold weather,”Johnson said. Natural disasters are only getting stronger and in the last decade we have seen extreme weather. The US has already seen many strong natural disasters, so now we have to do what we can to help prevent many natural disasters in the coming years.

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