Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday morning near Wilmington, N.C., as a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of about 90 miles an hour. On Saturday, the storm had crossed into South Carolina about 25 miles west of Myrtle Beach.
Even though Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the torrential rains, flooding and power outages will continue for days. Here are some photos from the Chicago Tribune.
Pictured above in this photo from the Chicago Tribune is Robert Simmons, Jr. and his tiny kitten, named Survivor. Isn't that a good name?
Think how many stranded and abandoned animals there are already from this storm. Think how many people were not able or willing to evacuate even though the highways were packed with cars and the local stores were sold out of water, cereal and batteries.
Yes, there was plenty of warning. Don't blame the people who couldn't or wouldn't leave. This is the case of dangerous storms like Harvey, Sandy, Katrina, and Maria. People had to make difficult choices to stay or go. Even a choice implies a kind of privilege--money, a vehicle, somewhere to go.
Some people have no choice. They are the truly vulnerable people affected by any disaster–poor people, sick people, elderly people. People in hospitals and nursing homes. People in prisons. People who can't just take off work. What about them?
These are the people who were most affected by Katrina when the levees failed. They were the ones who stayed during Sandy. They stayed in Houston in spite of the flood threats from Harvey. And they stayed in Puerto Rico.
Not all of them are survivors. Sadly, the reports of the deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria tell a different story. There are people who died from kidney failure when there was no power for dialysis machines. There are people who died from infections from drinking contaminated flood waters. Pneumonia. Shock. Heart attack. Suicide. There are many more. You can read their stories and their names here.
We must remember these people. Remember them even as Florence continues to rain. Remember them as there are more storms coming. Remember them as funds from FEMA were diverted to ICE.
Remember them, too, in November.
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