What are the lessons from hurricane Ida and its devastating damage to buildings in Louisiana and Mississippi? Can we build buildings strong enough to withstand these powerful weather systems? What are the implications of rising water levels and fires due to exceptionally dry conditions across the planet?
Lesson I from Ida:
We said it before, weather systems are getting more intense. Louisiana and Michigan suffered under hurricane Ida with never before seen sustained wind strengths of up to 175miles/hour with rain of 10-15 inches.
Listen to the comments by long-term residents. You hear over and over again comment such as
“ …hurricane winds have never been this strong…”
“ …we have never seen hurricane beat up inland areas that much.”
It seems Ida retained hurricane strength way longer after landfall than previous hurricanes even though it moved inland.
Parts of Europe have seen destruction by extreme weather like NEVER before. These kinds of events make “…climate change personal”.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, acknowledges the “changing arctic: A greener, warmer and increasingly accessible region”.
In light of all of this overwhelming data, how can anybody still regard the weather events of 2021 throughout the world as arbitrary events? Every continent and just about every country has been touched by these intense and unprecedented weather catastrophes.
Lesson II :
Film footage from Ida’s damage showed lots of whole roofs – wooden framing timbers perfectly shingled- ripped off houses. The wind simply picked it up and crashed it to the ground. Does the building codes of these two state not require so-called hurricane straps?
You also see entire concrete and brick walls pulled knocked down. There is no rebar visible. It appears to not have been installed inside the concrete blocks.
Since this is an area prone to hurricanes, such lax building standards are really shocking.
Miles and miles of overhead power lines and utility poles are pushed down to the ground. Chances are the poles will simply be replaced. Can we not have the courage to admit that we need to develop and implement better solutions. Can we not have a little foresight and bring this kind of power infrastructure underground once and for all.? This will be far better preparation for the next storm. Where are the political leaders in this conversation? And yes, there will be another, just as powerful hurricane in the not-so-distant future.
Ida and the severe storms and fires across Europe, India, Russia, and so many other places show us that business as usual is really not an option. The fires in Russia came dangerously close to a nuclear plant. Do we really need to wait for a nuclear meltdown to wake up and acknowledge that the weather on Mother Earth has changed at a really fast pace?
Let’s find solutions that each and every person can implement. Our individual contributions may seem small and insignificant at first, but let’s shift our minds into MAKING SIMPLE CHANGES IN OUR LIVES. Let’s work that “muscle called awareness”. Let’s not wait for our elected politicians to lead us in this conversation. Change that uses Mother Earth’s resources in a more measured way is needed. This mission has to be carried out by each and everyone on this planet.
Ida showed us once again just how existential, and life-changing the forces on Mother Earth are. Let’s pay attention to Ida’s lessons today!