Potential Tropical Cyclone One is proof that you do not need to be an offical tropical storm or hurricane to disrupt the daily lives of many Americans living in south Florida. The gold coast, an highly urbanized area roughly 110 miles from West Palm Beach to Miami Beach, saw up to 8-10 inches of heavy rainfall as a result of what was a tropical rainstorm with a broad area of low pressure. While not packing category 3 hurricane Katrina winds or even flooding, significant flooding let many in downtown Miami stranded and cars had to be abandoned in the streets. The city of Miami proper sets right at sea level and normal king tides cause flooding there on a weekly or monthly basis but on a localized street variety.
Hurricane season began June 1st in the United States and it does not reach its peak intensity till September 10th and then a secondary peak in action normally happens around Oct 10th. Do you and your family have a flood plan in place? It is not safe to drive around in flooded streets and your car’s engine can become stalled and damaged or worse you could be swept away in a flash flood. It only takes 6 inches of water to make a car float and water is very powerful. Traditionally, in the olden days, may people of color had to purchase houses and land that were located in flood plains because it was cheaper on insurance and prices in the South. But now days, we all have a choice as to where we live- any part of the country has it problems climatology speaking. You can have fires out in California, blizzards in the Midwest and Northeast, blazing heat in the deep South, and tornadoes in tornado alley. This does not mean you should not live there but it does mean that you should weigh the pros and cons of an area and do your homework on whether or not the opportunity costs of living in that area will be worth it for you and your family.
The city of Miami and to a greater extent other coastal areas of Florida are sinking and sea levels are rising with or without storms coming through every year. Our local and state government can only do so much mitigation as they do not want to discourage builders and the 21 million tourists they get every year providing jobs and revenue. Therefore, it is up to each citizen to have an action plan for flooding that will get worse in urban areas too– get sandbags and small water pumps at your local hardware store. Install storm shutters and hurricane windows for insurance purpose and this will also help with the resale value of your home should you leave the Miami metro area.
We can no longer afford to take for granted warnings and weather watches of any kind because supplies will become more expensive and be in less quantity. It is paramount that we protect our homes and stay safe from the elements. You do not want to find yourself on the rooftop of your home waiting for help like back in Hurricane Katrina days all because you thought it was just a little rain! When your city is at or below sea level, any rain over 3 inches will cause flooding and may even cause some to lose their lives. Thank God in this case many cars were lost and some properties but lives were not.