I think it's more that weather events are sensationalized beyond all comparison to anything we saw growing up. Katrina set the stage with people staying despite warnings and living in a swamp to start with. The news loved it, as much because they could blame the adminstration in DC as for the ratings and advertising revenue, not to get political. But Katrina is down the list a ways as far as actual loss of life, and we count every storm related death these days, so we come up with about 1200. The Galveston hurricane around the turn of the 19th century had about 8,000 known deaths, and who knows how many more they don't know of. Common sense was a lot more common back then, so I think a fair percentage of the Katrina deaths weren't storm related, but stupidity related myself. Either way, every storm is "The Storm of the Century" now and they're even naming snow storms these days. IMO a lot of this is human ego and greed mixed in with hubris and some sort of societal death wish/nature getting even type psychosis. But then, I left a cushy job making lots of money and went into sheep farming, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt...
Only once have i seen anything like that. And i don't want to see another.
I was fishing close to shore with a very steep vertical bank. Nice clear day. I looked straight up an over the steep bank a line of black and green clouds came rolling in. I never put my boat on the trailer so fast as that time.
Just to put a structural engineer's slant on it. If you think of the force of a 60 mph wind as 1.0 units of
wind force, the 155 mph winds of Michael are 6.7 times as high.
Anyone who got up in the AM and heard that a 155 mph hurricane was hours away (it hit at 11 am) and
did not immediately load up a few items, pets, valuables, whatever is important and bail out is
I went thru two hurricanes by 8th grade, more since. If you are more than 5 or 10 miles inland, not near
a creek, stay for a Cat 3 or down. Most homes will survive the winds of a Cat 2, or even 3 with modest
damage, usually roof shingles. If it is Cat 4 or 5, get the hell out of the way, likely to lose the whole structure.
I designed a home building system which used composite beams for primary structure, tested to have
no damage at 185 mph winds. Got patented, maker started producing......no interest. It would cost around
20-25% more than a wood house, folks would rather build cheap than strong.
Remember the 3 little pigs, straw vs bricks? That photo Ben posted is the Big Bad Wolf getting ready to huff and
puff and blow your house down.
Never been in a Hurricane . I have been in sustained winds over 110 mph for hours on end and one recorded storm that had winds 90+ mph for over 8 hr and nearly a full hour of recorded winds 140+ , the graph scale only went only went to 130 and the needle actually went off the scale and rode the edge of the paper for 57 min .
When it's blowing last thumb joint sized gravel , I wear a size 14 ring , that's no place to be . I'm glad as all that was a dry storm in a more or less treeless desert I can't imagine what a coconut would do going 140 mph .
I've never been through a US hurricane, but I've been though several Okinawan typhoons. Can't be much different. On an island, there's no where to run to. Where we were storm surge wasn't so much an issue, being on a rock humped up out of the ocean. But watching the wind/pressue drive rain through a cement block wall and Lord knows how many coats of paint sticks with you. I remember how hot it was, but you couldn't open a window as the pressure would either make it impossible with out busting the handle (inward tipping window) or it would suck it shut and shatter the glass if you did get it open. When the eye came over you could go outside and look straight up at perfect blue sky and then down a few degrees and see that black/gray/brown wall. Weird. As soon as the eye was passing and the wall approached it was like night and day-BAM! The wind was back in a minute or so. All power out, mess hall closed, no one allowed outside except damage control parties. Boredom was the enemy for all those 18-24 year old kids. At least the first one broke the drought and gave us fresh water.