Tropical Storm Florence is currently battering the Carolinas, but ripples from the storm are reaching all the way to Connecticut. Among chief concerns is the worry of more hurricanes this season – ones that could hit the Northeast.
Xiusheng Yang, a University of Connecticut professor in the Department of Natural Resourcesand the Environment, as well as the director of the Connecticut State Climate Center, said that it is difficult to make any concrete predictions, since hurricane forecasting is not state-specific. Instead, specialists focus on individual storms, he said.
“[Hurricanes are essentially] well structured, organized thunderstorms. We can look at these storms before they actually make landfall,” Yang said. “Hurricanes are large, and large storms are easier to predict.”
The odds of a hurricane hitting Connecticut are low, Yang said, but if the storm does not make landfall in the South and it starts moving north, just moving over the water on the coast, then it will make landfall in Connecticut.
“Because Connecticut is blocking its way. So landfall could be in Connecticut and New England,” Yang said. “But that’s very rare, and we only get a storm like that every twenty, thirty years.”
Even with low odds of a Connecticut storm, Rick Fontana, New Haven’s director of Emergency Operations, said Florence is a wake-up call and that residents should prepare now for future storms, according to WTNH.
“Have a plan…make sure you know where you’re going. Build a kit. Make sure you have a cell phone battery pack. And stay informed,” Fontana said to WTNH.
“CT Prepares” – The Connecticut Emergency Preparedness Mobile Application – is an app for Connecticut residents with helpful resources in the event of an emergency. Fontana said the app will provide important alerts to residents if a hurricane hits Connecticut, according to WTNH.
Beyond preparing for future storms, Connecticut residents are also providing aid and preparing for the aftermath of Florence.
Ten Connecticut Army National Guard members left with two aircrafts to provide aid for
Florence victims on Wednesday. They were heading for Knoxville, Tennessee, according to NBC Connecticut.
“[We are] either ferrying workers in, bringing people out, doing search and rescue missions,” Sgt. Michael Justo, from the Connecticut Army National Guard, said to NBC Connecticut.
“There is no way to know exactly what Connecticut’s piece of the mission will be until the storm passes and authorities have the opportunity to survey and prioritize needs.” Maj. Gen. Francis J. Evon, commander of the Connecticut National Guard, said to the Hartford Courant.
Even Hartford, the hub of insurance in America, is preparing for the aftermath of Tropical Storm
Florence. The Travelers Cos. Inc. and The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. have already
sent staff to affected areas to provide immediate assistance following the storm, according to the Hartford Courant.
“Most people have never filed a claim or filed very few,” John Kinney, the chief claims officer at
The Hartford, said to the Hartford Courant. “It could be catastrophic damage. A lot of our customers won’t know what to do.”
Natalie Baliker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.