One major hurricane can be devastating. In 2017, three Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. within 26 days. No wonder some folks are still waiting on roof repairs.
“There were three Category 4 U.S. landfalls in a period of 26 days: Harvey, Irma and Maria. For context, the previous three occurred over a period of 56 years,” Ed Rappaport, acting director of the National Hurricane Center in Maimi, said.
Here are some of the stunning stats Rappaport enumerated during a recent speech:
- It was the most active season in 167 years, going by cyclone energy generated.
- U.S. damages set a record of $265 billion.
- Harvey set a U.S. tropical cyclone rainfall record.
Such a record-setting year has created a huge cleanup effort, including in the area of roof repairs. In fact, some areas of Florida have not yet repaired all the damage from Hurricane Irma.
“We’re busier, that’s for sure,” Robert Sava, owner of the Merritt Island-based All Space Coast Roofing, told Florida Today. “Many roofers are buried with work through the fall.”
But some put a positive spin on last year’s overactive hurricane season, calling it a wake up call for those lulled into a false sense of security by several years without the big storms.
“From our perspective, it’s a good reminder of the risk that this country has for hurricane landfall. There’s a lot of hurricane amnesia that sets in when you go a long period of time — even in a place like Florida — without a major hurricane landfall,” Mike Brennan, branch chief of the NHC’s hurricane specialist unit, said.
The initial outlook for this year’s hurricane season will be released in May. And don’t indulge in that false sense of security if it doesn’t look to be as wild as last year.
“It only takes one hurricane to make a devastating impact. You can go back to a season like Hurricane Andrew, which most Floridians remember. That was a season in which there were very few hurricanes — it was an El Niño year, which has a tremendous effect on hurricanes,” said Cody Fritz, NHC storm surge specialist. “But it only took one. One hurricane came through and devastated southern Florida.”