Now that the calendar has shifted to June, it’s officially hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean side of the globe. Our friends in the Eastern Pacific Ocean have been in hurricane season since May 15th.
Turns out it was a hurricane that started in the Pacific that brought the first named storm to the Atlantic in the past few days. Hurricane Agatha, the first storm to form in the Pacific, made landfall on Mexico’s southern coast last week. He killed nine people and five are still missing, according to the Associated Press.
Agatha’s remains would pass through Mexico and enter the Gulf of Mexico, where they strengthened and brought torrential rains and flooding to parts of Cuba and southern Florida. After clearing the Florida Peninsula, it became the Atlantic’s first named storm, Tropical Storm Alex. The system continues to track eastward at a rapid pace, which could cause problems in Bermuda.
Alex wasn’t even a tropical storm when it passed over Florida and Cuba, but it still left a lot of trouble in its wake. Flooding was the biggest problem with three people in Cuba dying as a result of the storm.
The only effect the Golden Isles saw from Alex was higher waves for those who went surfing or swimming last weekend. The storm should remind us that hurricanes and tropical storms can be very unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to prepare now in case a storm hits our shoreline.
If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast for this year’s hurricane season comes true, it could pose a problem for the islands. NOAA predicts there could be 14 to 21 named storms this year, with between 6 and 10 storms reaching hurricane status. Of these, three to six could reach the threshold of a Category 3+ major hurricane.
Glynn County Emergency Management Agency Director Andy Leanza recently told The News that people should be prepared regardless of the forecast because “all it takes is a hurricane “. Leanza stressed the importance of having an emergency kit ready in case of a storm. Kits should include items such as non-perishable food, water, pet supplies, medicine, money, portable batteries and chargers, and other items. For more information on suggested items to include in a natural disaster kit, visit ready.gov/kit.
Now is the time to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Make sure you have a kit and a plan in place in case a storm heads our way this year. Do not wait before it’s too late.